Angel di Maria turned down a huge contract offer from Real Madrid in order to join Manchester United this summer, according to Florentino Perez.
The Real Madrid president claims he offered the Argentinian the chance to become the club's second highest earner behind Cristiano Ronaldo and ahead of Gareth Bale to stay put.
However that wasn't enough to convince him to stay and he completed a £59.7 million move to Manchester United during the summer transfer window, making his debut against Burnley last weekend.
Perez hinted that he was willing to make Di Maria the club's second highest earner, however it wasn't to be.
"We made the best offer that we could to Di Maria and he didn't accept it. Hence, we brought in James (Rodriguez), one of the best players at the World Cup and the Golden Boot award winner," he said.
"Real has always respected contracts. Di Maria had financial requests that I considered legitimate but we couldn't satisfy them.
"I reiterate that we made him the best possible offer. With the exception of Cristiano (Ronaldo), Di Maria would have been the highest paid at Real Madrid. Had we accepted his financial demands it would have created an unbalanced treatment that would have put the club's stability in danger."
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed before his move to Manchester United that Di Maria had turned down the offer of a new deal and handed in a transfer request before his eventual move to Old Trafford.
The 26-year-old has already made his debut for the Red Devils, featuring in their 0-0 draw against Burnley before the international break. He is now the most expensive player in British football history and will play a key role as boss Louis van Gaal looks to guide Manchester United back towards the top of the table.
Along with Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Daley Blind all arriving at Old Trafford for a combined total of around £150 million.
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