Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hopes to confirm the sale of Angel di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain within the next few hours.
This is according to Spanish newspaper Marca, who understand that United are keen to secure a deal for Barcelona forward Pedro but want Di Maria’s transfer away from Old Trafford sorted first.
The report adds that United have already agreed a transfer fee with Barcelona for the acquisition of Pedro - although the Red Devils may need to wait until after the European Super Cup on August 11 before the Spain international arrives.
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Van Gaal effectively confirmed that Di Maria was leaving the Red Devils in his post-match press conference following United’s 2-0 defeat to PSG on Wednesday night.
The veteran Dutch coach admitted, to the surprise of everyone, that he has no idea where the Argentina international currently is. The former Real Madrid star was due to link up with the rest of his teammates ahead of United’s match against Barcelona last weekend, but failed to board a plane from Argentina to the United States.
Deal was 'done' in Paris on Wednesday
PSG boss Laurent Blanc went a step further in his post-match press conference by admitting a deal is close to being finalised.
However, well-connected journalist Guillem Balague understands that the deal has already been completed. The deal was reportedly finalised in Paris on Wednesday and Manchester United will receive £44.2 million for the wantaway winger.
United taking big loss on Di Maria
That would represent a £15 million loss for United, who smashed the British transfer record in order to bring Di Maria to Old Trafford from Real Madrid less than 12 months ago.
The world-class South American started his Manchester United career with a bang, but fizzed out after the first couple of months.
His form dipped significantly and so too did his confidence. An attempted burglary at his Prestbury mansion earlier this year, which clearly had a profound effect on both the player and his young family, appeared to be the final straw for the Argentine.
United on the hunt for a new No. 7
Di Maria looked a shadow of the world-class player who arrived at Old Trafford last August during the final months of his Manchester United tenure. His confidence had completely gone, his pain-threshold was practically non-existent and he continued to make uncharacteristically poor mistakes on the pitch.
It’s a shame for Manchester United fans that this transfer hasn’t worked out. Di Maria, despite his struggles in England, remains one of the world’s most exciting attacking players - as he demonstrated as the recent Copa America in Chile.
United will now need to find someone else to take over their iconic No. 7 shirt - but will it go to Pedro, Memphis Depay or someone else?
Manchester United fans: who should become the Red Devils’ new number seven? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!