Paris Saint-Germain believe they will complete a deal for Angel di Maria by the weekend, according to the Guardian.
The Argentinian winger has refused to join his current employers on their pre-season tour to north America after completing his post-Copa America break, and now a deal with PSG appears to be very close.
According to the Guardian, the fee will be around £40 million, which represents a huge loss on the £59.7 million the Red Devils forked out this time last year.
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Di Maria is said to earn around £280,000-per-week at Old Trafford, meaning his year with Manchester United would have cost the club in excess of £30 million when also factoring in the loss they'll make on his fee.
That is of course mitigated by the fact that some of the money owed to Real Madrid would have based on incentives such as goals and appearances, which evidently he will not hit now. That figure is put at around £5 million, but the losses Manchester United face are still sizeable.
Recent reports have suggested Barcelona winger Pedro as his probably replacement. The Spanish international has a €30 million buy-out fee written into his new contract which the Red Devils are set to activate once the deal for Di Maria is done.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was less than impressed after being asked about Di Maria's whereabouts following the pre-season defeat against PSG.
“I don’t want to answer that but you can keep asking,” said the Dutchman. “Maybe you know where he is. I don’t know.”
However PSG boss Laurent Blanc confirmed afterwards that negotiations between the two clubs are 'close to the end'.
This is the end of a very sorry saga all round. Di Maria never really settled in Manchester while his family are said to be unhappy in the city, and his failure to turn up for the pre-season tour was the final nail in the coffin.
Pedro is an adequate replacement and those worried about his quality compared to Di Maria should think of it this way; he doesn't have to be better than Di Maria, he just has to be better than the Argentine was last season, which shouldn't be hard.
The money lost will be a bitter pill to swallow but Manchester United don't exactly need it anyway - but they will think twice before splashing the cash next time.