Manchester United officials and their Paris Saint-Germain counterparts are currently trying to thrash out a deal for Angel di Maria in a secret London location. However, the transfer is under threat because of the player's £170,000-a-week wage demands.
A report in The Mail claims United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is currently meeting with PSG owner Nasser Al Khelaifi to discuss a transfer fee and the structure of payment. Previous reports have suggested that a deal will be done at around €65million (£46m), but it seems there are still crucial details to iron out.
There are growing concerns that the deal could fall through over Di Maria's wage demands after PSG's opening offer fell almost £1.5m-per-annum short. The Argentinian is looking for around £9m-a-year, meaning there is plenty of negotiating to be done yet.
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It means PSG are likely to fall short of their hope to complete a deal for the 27-year-old before they face Manchester United in the International Champions Cup pre-season friendly on Thursday. Laurent Blanc was hoping to have the deal secured as he fears ongoing speculation will detract from what is a crucial warm-up game for both sides.
Di Maria is yet to start pre-season training after his Copa America exploits so any chance of the Argentinian playing in the tie are less than remote. Even if a deal can be agreed today, the winger is unlikely to play any part for his prospective new side.
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A massive pay cut?
These deals are obviously very hard to calculate and supremely secretive, but it is generally accepted that Di Maria earns an incredible £280,000-a-week at Old Trafford, making him the second-highest earner behind Wayne Rooney.
If true, Di Maria is offering to take a substantial pay cut to leave Manchester United, especially considering the 75 per cent tax rate that the left-wing French government currently implements for those earning over €1m-a-year.
With the tax rate in Britain standing at a substantially lower at 45 per cent, meaning Di Maria could stand to lose over £100,000-a-week. However, there is also the possibility that those demands are after-tax, meaning PSG would have to agree to pay him a whopping £680,000-a-week.
It is a number that seems scarcely believable and probably points to inaccurate reporting rather than an outrageous demand from the apparently humble Argentina international.
With Uefa already relaxing their financial fair play regulations, PSG would be free to make such an offer, but would their endlessly-rich Qatari owner will certainly have to consider plenty of options before agreeing to such a deal.
The tax-free wage is something PSG have previously agreed for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who confirmed they had inflated his wages to soften the blow of the 75 per cent tax rate.