Manchester United signed Angel di Maria after failure to land Arturo Vidal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal only agreed to the British record transfer signing of Angel di Maria after it was established the club had been unsuccessful in their pursuit of Arturo Vidal.

According to established sports journalist Duncan Castles, writing for Goal.com, the Red Devils boss would've preferred to negotiate a deal for the Chilean playmaker. But, after being blocked by Juventus the Dutchman proceeded with the £59.7 million move for the former Real Madrid winger.

Di Maria has endured an underwhelming debut campaign in England and there has already been speculation that the Argentina international wants to leave Old Trafford.

Van Gaal's man-management has been pinpointed as the principal reason why the 27-year-old is unsettled, but the fact he has recently told Manchester United staff the real reason for the high-profile purchase has also been a contributing factor to the player's alleged unhappiness.

With seven goals and 22 assists in 45 appearances last term, this season's return of three goals and nine assists in 21 Premier League matches is hugely disappointing by comparison.

Di Maria arrived with a glowing reputation as one of the world's best attacking midfielders after turning in a man-of-the-match performance in last year's Champions League final.

He also impressed in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil last summer, helping his country on their way to the showpiece final where Gerardo Martino's side eventually fell to a 1-0 extra-time defeat against Germany.

However, the South American's stock has fallen considerably over the past seven months following his struggles to maintain fitness and form at the Theatre of Dreams.

Despite Di Maria's desire to end his ill-fated spell with the Premier League giants at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is determined to retain the club-record signing's services for at least another season.

That news is unlikely to be met with popularity in the player's camp, but after penning a long-term contract with the Red Devils less than 12 months ago, he could be forced to stay and fight for his place in Van Gaal's line-up.

Manchester United fans: Would you have preferred to sign Arturo Vidal or Angel di Maria? Have your say in the comment box below...

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