Speaking to Eurosport and reported by the London Evening Standard, Ancelotti paid tribute to the recently departed Xabi Alonso, who departed Real Madrid for Bayern Munich this month.
But those comments stood in stark contrast to Ancelotti’s remarks on ‘players that prefer to make more money.’ It’s widely understood that Ancelotti was referring to Di Maria, who left the Bernabeu to join Manchester United in a British record £60m move.
“Some players love to compete, other prefer to make more money,” Ancelotti said. “If a player needs motivation to play at the best club in the world, I have no problem in letting him go.”
Having moved to United, Di Maria said that it was never his intention to leave Real Madrid after winning the club’s 10th Champions League title. But a dispute, believed to be over a contract extension, eventually forced him to explore his options.
Di Maria’s father has since said that Real Madrid disrespected his son, offering him only €5m a year to re-sign with the Spanish champions. That represented an increase on his previous deal, but Di Maria was looking for something closer to €6m.
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Ancelotti also seems to be referring to Real Madrid’s purchase of James Rodriguez from Monaco when he talks about competition. It was widely believed that the £63m summer transfer, after the Colombian international’s stunning World Cup, was a direct challenge to Di Maria’s place in the team.
But rather than stay and fight for a position in the starting eleven, Ancelotti clearly feels Di Maria opted to just move for more money elsewhere.