Bookmakers have now suspended betting on Angel di Maria joining Manchester United from Real Madrid this summer.
The Argentinian ace has been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu for much of the summer, and now Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that he's handed in a transfer request after turning down the offer of a new contract.
Paris Saint-Germain looked to be in the driving seat to land the winger, however their move hit the rocks because they are unable to afford him having splashed £50 million on David Luiz. Their spending has been restricted thanks to UEFA sanctions, and although it was suggested that Edinson Cavani could be sold to free up some funds that doesn't look like happening and so their move for Di Maria is off as things stand.
That has freed the way for Manchester United to pounce before deadline day. Real Madrid need to balance their own books after signing Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez so are willing to sell, and will be even more keen to do business following Ancelotti's revelations today.
According to the bookmakers at least his move to Manchester United is almost done; betting firm Bwin have suspended the market on him making the move to Old Trafford, while Sky Bet have him at 1/3 to join Louis van Gaal's team.
Although he is available, the fact that Ancelotti would like to keep him regardless means he won't come cheap. Los Blancos are likely to demand a fee in excess of £50 million - although Manchester United would have no trouble paying that, following executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward's declaration that he is willing to shatter the transfer record this summer if needs be.
Di Maria's arrival at Old Trafford would be a huge boost for the club's fans who have endured another frustrating summer - despite the fact that £72 million has already been splashed on three players.
Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo have all signed on the dotted line, however Van Gaal is said to be growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of big-name arrivals. The former Barcelona boss had made landing the likes of Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos his top priority in this window but all three slipped through his fingers, while Thomas Vermaelen ended up at Barcelona rather than Manchester United.
Sealing a deal for Di Maria will provide a massive shot in the arm for the Red Devils, who were dealt a dose of reality as they stumbled to a 2-1 defeat on the opening day of the Premier League season against Swansea.
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