Di Maria joins Man Utd for club and British record fee of £59.7m
Premier League title chances Manchester United (12/1) have completed the signing of Argentine attacker Angel Di Maria on a five-year deal, after the club forked out a club and British record price of £59.7m. It eclipses the £50m Chelsea splashed out for Fernando Torres from Liverpool in 2011.
Di Maria said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester United. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Spain and there were a lot of clubs interested in me, but United is the only club that I would have left Real Madrid for.
“Louis van Gaal is a fantastic coach with a proven track record of success and I am impressed by the vision and determination everyone has to get this club back to the top – where it belongs. I now just cannot wait to get started.”
The move comes after much speculation surrounding the exact fee offered for the player, but it seems the Red Devils managed to haggle down from a reported £75m asking price, due to the two clubs’ good relationship.
United have sold the likes of David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Gabriel Heinze and Cristiano Ronaldo to the Spanish giants in recent times.
While Di Maria is not renowned as a scorer (he netted four times last term in La Liga) he managed a whopping 17 assists – topping the charts. He was on target 11 times in all competitions last season, though, and Coral offer special prices of 9/2 and 20/1 for him to hit 10 and 15 Premier League goals or more respectively.
The Argentina star, who has won 52 caps, helped his national side reach the World Cup finals in Brazil, and scored the crucial late injury time winner against Switzerland in the last 16 to avoid penalties.
Since his arrival to Spain in 2010, across the border from Benfica, Di Maria made a total of 124 La Liga appearances for Real, scoring 22 goals and making more than twice as many assists.
He started his career back in his home country with Rosario Central, before travelling to Portugal, where he won the league and two Taca da Liga trophies. Di Maria, 26, also gained the Champions League, Spanish top-flight and the Copa del Rey twice with Real. He has also won an Olympic Gold in 2008 with Argentina.
Red Devils’ boss Louis van Gaal said on the capture of the South American: “Angel is a world-class midfielder but most importantly he is a team player. There is no doubting his immense natural talent.
“He is a tremendously fast and incisive left-footed player who puts fear into the most accomplished defence. His dribbling skills and his ability to take on and beat opponents are a joy to watch. He is an excellent addition to the team.”
United have now added Di Maria to Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and fellow Argentine Marcos Rojo as their major recruits this summer, with Daley Blind also a reported target.
The Netherlands defender’s agent, Rob Jansen, though, has denied the Red Devils have made an approach for the 24-year-old, saying: “At this moment Manchester United have not been in touch with me or Ajax about Daley and I’m not sitting here waiting for the call.”
Di Maria could be available for United’s next Premier League game away to Burnley, where they desperately need a win to kick-start their season. The attacker is 2/1 to score anytime.
Other special markets Coral offer on Di Maria include for him to be named Premier League Player of the Season at 14/1, Player of the Month at any stage this season (5/2) and for him to be United’s top scorer this term (14/1).