Football

Manchester United finally confident of £56m deal for Angel di Maria

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Manchester United fans desperate to see quality additions arrive as a matter of urgency will be heartened to learn Red Devils chiefs are now more confident than ever of completing a club-record deal for Angel di Maria in the next few days.

That is according to Metro, who cite a report in Madrid-based Sport daily Marca in a report which claims that Di Maria's formal transfer request has finally persuaded United to table a stunning club-record offer of £56 million this weekend.

United want two more signings before the transfer window slams shut next Monday and after sealing a £16m move for Marcos Rojo their focus is now on the Di Maria deal, with a concrete bid due to land on Madrid president Florentino Perez's desk in next 72 hours.

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PSG hampered by FFP

New-found confidence at Old Trafford surrounding their summer-long chase for Di Maria has also been strengthened by developments at Paris Saint-Germain, who have been frontunners for the midfield maestro's signature over the last few weeks.

PSG still want Di Maria and can afford a quite extraordinary £200,000-a-week wage demand, but simply can't pay the transfer fee without risking the wrath of severe sanctions from UEFA with regard to Financial Fair Play regulations.

The mega-rich French giants are restricted to a net transfer spend of just under £50m this summer and spent close to that amount on a single deal for Brazilian defender David Luiz.

Before even considering closing the Di Maria deal PSG would have to find a buyer for Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore or another first-team star, and summer suitors for that pair have hardly been knocking down their door.

As a result PSG are close to abandoning their last-ditch bid for Di Maria altogether, so if United have the cash ready to pay a premium for one of the world's best players this deal is very much on the cards.

Where would Di Maria play?

Red Devils fans would be absolutely delighted to sign Di Maria and take their summer spending to a whopping £120m, by fat the most expensive window in the club's history, but where would the 26-year-old fit into Louis van Gaal's plans?

Di Maria doesn't look suited to Van Gaal's preferred 3-5-2 system on the surface, particularly if asked to take on considerable defensive responsibilities in a wing-back role.

Over the second half of last season Di Maria thrived in a slightly deeper role at Madrid, given licence to run at players from deep and use his potent mix of pace and technical quality to give defenders in La Liga a headache week-in, week-out.

Van Gaal has shown consistently he's tactically flexible and even switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation at half-time of last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Swansea City, so Di Maria would present a problem the Dutch veteran is capabe of solving with minimum fuss.

United are running out of time to get this deal over the line, but doing so would give the club a huge boost and finally take the pressure of beleaguered vice-president Ed Woodward, who is under intense scrutiny after missing out on a string of top transfer targets over the last 12 months.

Di Maria's signature would represent a massive coup and give United a shot in the arm to ensure their Champions League omission is only temporary, so expect Woodward and co. to be extremely busy over the next few days.

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Topics:
Premier League
Real Madrid
Manchester United
Football

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