Manchester City were plotting an incredible move to steal Angel Di Maria from city rivals Manchester United before they clinched the signing of Raheem Sterling, according to reports.
It was announced earlier this week that Sterling had sealed a move to the Etihad Stadium to the tune of some £49million, but according to the Daily Telegraph Manuel Pellegrini was also considering trying to lure one of United’s biggest names to his cause.
In what would have been perhaps the most controversial transfer of the summer it’s said that City were ready to capitalise on the fact that Di Maria isn’t enjoying life at United, with the Argentina international said to have been suffering from trauma due to the break-in at his £4m mansion earlier this year.
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Obviously a switch to a club in the same city wouldn’t remedy any woes Di Maria might harbour on that front, but in any case it was reportedly made clear by sources close to the player that he is of the mind-set that he needs to move away from England if he leaves United.
The latest rumours indicate that the 27-year-old harbours ambitious hopes that he can secure a return to Real Madrid, though Los Blancos have yet to offer any indication that they would opt for re-sign him if handed the opportunity.
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Di Maria to leave?
What’s far more likely is that Di Maria’s rescue party will come in the form of Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, with Laurent Blanc a known admirer and the club no longer being financially strangled by the Financial Fair Play rules that saw them lose out on Di Maria last summer.
That’s of course assuming that United will be open to the idea of selling him. It would appear that the Red Devils are under no immediate pressure to raise funds for the transfer business they have already conducted - due in no small part to the new Adidas kit sponsorship deal - but Van Gaal might consider letting Di Maria depart if only to free up room in his squad.
City's Sterling buy
One destination that is now firmly off the cards, and we highly doubt it was ever on, is City, who with their capture of Sterling set a new record for a sum paid for an Englishman.
Whether or not the 19-year-old, who was very much hit and miss for Liverpool last term, can have the same impact Di Maria would of remains to be seen, but by all accounts his was a wise purchase with the future in mind.
United fans, how would you have reacted if City had landed Di Maria this summer? Let us know in the comments box below.