Manchester United have decided to fine Angel di Maria £360,000 for refusing to report for pre-season training in the USA last week. The report, written by the Daily Star's chief football correspondent Jeremy Cross, says the money is equivalent to two-weeks wages.
The Argentinian was due to meet with his Red Devils team-mates at their temporary San Francisco training camp last Saturday but never arrived. His international and club team-mate, Marcos Rojo, also failed to turn up but it is believed he was prevented from travelling due to passport issues.
For Di Maria, it is likely that it was his lack of commitment to the club and not bureaucracy, kept him away from Louis van Gaal's infamous double training sessions. It was the clearest sign that the 27-year-old's career at Old Trafford was over.
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Whether he had arrived or not, Manchester United were very likely to sell the winger to PSG this summer. Ed Woodward has been in talks with his Parc des Princes counterparts all week and is believed to have agreed a deal worth £45million.
That would represent a substantial loss on their original £59.7m investment, but they have at least managed to claw back some of the money they believe is owed to them by the player himself.
It is likely to be the last official action between Manchester United and the player with a deal expected to be announced in the next 48 hours. In fact, the report claims that Van Gaal will refuse to put the rubber stamp on any deal until the £360,000 lands in the club's coffers.
While Van Gaal has appeared noticeably calm in his most recent press conferences, insiders say the Dutchman is absolutely fuming for Di Maria's lack of professionalism and wants this final insult repaid with two-weeks wages.
It is unlikely to be a problem for Di Maria, who is set to earn £200,000-a-week in the French capital. Being so desperate to leave Manchester, the Argentinian surely won't put the deal in doubt by arguing with Van Gaal over the fine.
Van Gaal, a harsh taskmaster and disciplinarian, has already had his authority compromised by this troublemaking star. Di Maria has won.
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