Angel Di Maria would have joined Paris Saint-Germain head of Manchester United, had Financial Fair Play not been a factor.
At least that’s the belief of Dominique Severac, a French journalist working for Parisian paper L’Equipe. According to him the only reason PSG didn’t manage to entice a number of the world’s biggest stars to the Parc des Princes this summer was because the rules in place with regards to them balancing their books prevented it.
The 26-year-old winger was heavily linked with an exit from Real Madrid for the duration of the summer, with PSG and United firmly registered as his main suitors. In the end it was the Red Devils who won the day, with Louis van Gaal spending £59.7 million in order to capture his signature.
Yet, according to Severac, the outcome could have be oh so different. Rather than admit that United won the race for Di Maria’s services fair and square the Frenchman preferred to highlight the fact that PSG only missed out because they couldn’t match the figure Madrid were expecting to receive.
Perhaps highlighting that the United ace would have opted for a Ligue 1 move ahead of the Premier League had Laurent Blanc been able to stump up what Van Gaal did, his comments will certainly be of interest to Red Devils fans.
When talking to Le Parisien Severac was asked why PSG had decided to get Serge Aurier on loan, instead of acquiring Barcelona ace Dani Alves on a permanent deal, which then led onto the subject of Di Maria.
"Why Aurier and not Daniel Alves?” Severac said.
“It’s always the same reason: the Financial Fair Play. Without that, Di Maria would have arrived as well."
Di Maria’s form
Though we’ll never know for sure how close Di Maria came to rejecting a United switch one thing is for certain; he’s been nothing short of brilliant since his arrival. Two goals in his opening three Premier League matches have ensured that he has enjoyed a near perfect start to life under Van Gaal, with reporters quickly running out of superlatives to sum up his impact.
In contrast PSG have yet to hit top gear in their quest to win a third straight French championship, with Blanc’s side having drawn four and won just two of their opening six matches. An early season injury to star performer Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t help matters, but the slow start has already heaped pressure on the team to ensure they take maximum points from their next few matches.
Getting round the FFP
If anything their failure to land Di Maria will have taught the powers that be at the Parc des Princes, particularly chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi, that they must be better prepared heading into transfer windows in the future.
Whilst the FFP sanctions are in place they have to sell great players in order to finance moves for buying great players, and Blanc might just live to regret splashing £50 million on David Luiz in the early stages of this summer’s transfer window, as opposed to waiting to get the man he really wanted.