Louis van Gaal is ready to cash in on Manchester United's record signing Angel di Maria this summer if he asks club chiefs to quit Old Trafford after just one season.
That's according to the Daily Star’s chief sports writer Jeremy Cross, who claimed on Sky Sports' Sunday Supplement that the Argentina international could be on his way out of the Theatre of Dreams when the transfer window reopens.
Di Maria arrived in England from Real Madrid in a mouth-watering £59.7 million deal, but has underwhelmed during his debut campaign, failing to live up to the high expectations of Red Devils supporters.
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After struggling to cement his place in the starting XI there has been speculation about the 26-year-old's long-term future, but most fans anticipated that the £280,000-a-week star would stay put and look to restore the faith shown by Van Gaal last summer.
However, according to Cross there's a genuine possibility that Di Maria could leave at the end of the season, and cited the recent confirmation that PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay will join Manchester United ahead of the 2015/16 campaign as another reason to suggest the South American is on his way out.
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"The fact they have signed Depay increases the speculation about Di Maria,” he explained. “I don’t think United want to sell him because they know deep down they have got a wonderful player.
“The issue with Di Maria is he has just not settled. His home was burgled earlier in the year and his wife and family were there at the time. On the face of it you might say that’s no reason to pack in and go somewhere else, but it had a big impact on him.
“He started off really well when he first joined United and tailed off. This burglary happened and his form has never been the same. He just looks disinterested when he’s on the pitch.
“While United would want to keep him because they’ve invested so much in him, if they got a good offer for him – and I’m pretty sure there will be some club wanting to sign Di Maria – they would probably sell him.”
Cross also expressed his astonishment at Van Gaal openly admitting that when it comes to transfers it's the players that have all the power, intimating that the 2014 World Cup finalist will have the final say on his future.
“I’m surprised a manager of that experience actually admitted it, but he’s spot on when he says that," he added. "Players sign these big contracts and essentially they don’t mean a thing.
“Di Maria signed a big contract with United and he’s only been there a year. He could be gone within 12 months.
“If Di Maria goes to Ed Woodward and says ‘I’m not happy, can I go?’ then they would let him go.”
Manchester United fans: Do you think Angel di Maria will still be at Old Trafford next season? Share your thoughts below...