United break transfer record to bring in Angel Di Maria
The €75m deal for the 26 year old brings the club’s spending this summer to €164m
Angel di Maria of Argentina has joined Manchester United from Real Madrid in a deal worth €75m. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester United,” Di Maria said. “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 26-year-old completed a medical earlier on Tuesday, having flown into Manchester on Monday evening before being driven to the club’s Carrington training complex where he discussed personal terms and had a preliminary medical.
Van Gaal said: “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.”
The deal, which overtakes the €62.8m paid to Liverpool by Chelsea for Fernando Torres in January 2011 as the highest ever paid by a British club, follows the €34m paid previously for Luke Shaw, the €35m for Ander Herrera and €20m for Marcos Rojo.
United are still intent on adding further signings before September 1st. Juventus’s Arturo Vidal, Milan’s Nigel de Jong and Ajax’s Daley Blind are all prospective targets as clubs enter the final week of the summer window.
The acquisition of Di Maria is vindication for Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman. During United’s pre-season tour of the United States in July, Woodward stated that Van Gaal was free to break the world record transfer of €108m paid by Real for Gareth Bale, saying: “It’s difficult to deal in hypotheticals based on lots of different things. The reality is that we’re not afraid of spending significant amounts of money in the transfer market.
“Whether it’s a record or not doesn’t really resonate with us. What resonates is an elite player that the manager wants who is going to be a star for Manchester United.”
Given the expectation that Di Maria’s transfer is a formality, the 26-year-old should be registered in time to be available for Saturday’s trip to Burnley for the weekend’s early Premier League match at 12.45pm.
The capture of Di Maria, who was the man of the match when Real won the Champions League in May, represents a coup for United considering the club are not in this season’s premier European competition and need to strengthen their squad after the team have let five points slip from the first two matches.