Manchester United have no plans to offload Angel di Maria when the transfer window re-opens this summer, despite recent speculation surrounding the Argentina international’s future at Old Trafford.
United sources have told ESPN that the club are determined to keep Di Maria beyond this summer, in the belief that the former Real Madrid star can rediscover his best form under Louis van Gaal, and will subsequently block any attempts from him to leave.
It was reported earlier this week that Di Maria was involved in a ‘furious’ bust-up with Van Gaal following his disappointing performance as a substitute in last Sunday’s 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield, but this incident is not expected to result in the permanent breakdown in their working relationship.
Di Maria has permission to run with the ball
The reports claimed Di Maria is unhappy with Van Gaal’s tactical instructions, but ESPN sources have revealed that the South American is one of the few players in the Manchester United squad granted permission to make forward surges with the ball.
Unfortunately for Di Maria, who returned from his one-match suspension following his recent red card against Arsenal, he regularly lost possession during his 35 minutes on the pitch at Anfield - and not even his clever assist for Juan Mata’s wonder goal spared him from criticism.
Di Maria has flattered to deceive at Old Trafford
Much was expected of Di Maria after he was surprisingly granted permission by Real Madrid to join Manchester United for £59.7 million last summer - a British record transfer fee which smashed the previous £50 million record set by Chelsea, who purchased Fernando Torres from Liverpool, in January 2011.
And while the 27-year-old certainly started well, producing some superb performances in the opening weeks of the campaign, he has since flattered to deceive.
Injury problems and off-field issues have not helped the player - he was the victim of an attempted burglary earlier this year and has since relocated from Prestbury to Manchester with his wife and young child - and the chance to leave England after a turbulent few months may appeal to the player.
PSG keen - as is Lionel Messi
French champions Paris Saint-Germain are understood to be keen to sign Di Maria this summer, while a new report from Spanish broadsheet El Confidential today claims Lionel Messi wants Barcelona to sign the struggling Manchester United star at the end of the season.
But United - and Van Gaal - are acutely aware of the magnificent talent Di Maria possesses.
Another reason why the Red Devils are unlikely to sell the South American star, who was named as the Man of the Match in last season’s Champions League final, is because he was the big-name coup of United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who has an excellent relationship with Di Maria’s agent Jorge Mendes.
Di Maria can still become a United star
With Juan Mata performing so well in the past couple of weeks, Di Maria faces a struggle breaking into United’s starting line-up again.
However, as arguably the most talented player in the Manchester United squad, it shouldn’t be too much longer before Di Maria’s name is back on the team-sheet.
Manchester United fans: do you believe Angel di Maria wants to be at Old Trafford - or does he want out? Have your say in the comments below!