Angel di Maria to Manchester United deal was cheap, says Martino

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Angel di Maria was arguably the most high-profile Premier League signing of the recent summer transfer window, with the exciting midfielder joining Manchester United from Real Madrid in a deal that has subsequently been described as 'cheap' by new Argentina manager Gerardo Martino.

26-year-old Di Maria was a integral member of the Real side that finally delivered the club's tenth European Cup success last season, playing a pivotal role in the final as Carlo Ancelotti's side turned it on in extra-time to conquer local rivals Atletico.

Despite that success and his general popularity among the fans and players at the Santiago Bernabeu, Di Maria was deemed surplus to requirements at Real following the arrival of Colombian James Rodriguez and, despite being linked rather heavily with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, was eventually sold to Manchester United for a British record fee of £59.7 million.

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Martino praise

And while Di Maria - who reportedly earns £200,000-per-week - is obviously a proven talent, the enormity of that aforementioned sum led many to question if Manchester United have been guilty of overpaying for the player - a claim that both his performances and international boss Martino have been quick to refute.

"I think that the club directors got him on the cheap because he is such a versatile player – he can adapt to any position on the field, on either wing or through the middle," the former Barcelona chief - who took charge of his country following Alejandro Sabella's decision to vacate his role after the World Cup final - was quoted by the Daily Express.

"Angel is one of the most relevant players that Argentina have had in recent years."

Encouraging start

While I think it is probably a stretch to claim that Di Maria's price tag represents a bargain, there is no doubt whatsoever that the former Benfica man has enjoyed a hugely encouraging start to life at Old Trafford.

Having already scored goals against Queens Park Rangers and Leicester City, he also notched during Sunday's 2-1 victory over Everton. As well as finding the net on a regular basis, the skilful Di Maria has also provided three assists for his teammates in five top-flight appearances to date.

Rather than being given an opportunity to rest during the upcoming international break, however, Di Maria - along with compatriot and fellow Manchester United newcomer Marcos Rojo - will be travelling to Beijing with Argentina for meaningless exhibition matches against Brazil and Hong Kong.

Such a prospect has understandably annoyed Louis van Gaal, who will be desperate to avoid suffering any further injury blows prior to United's next match against West Brom at The Hawthorns on Monday October 20.

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