Van Gaal closes in on Rojo and Di María

Manchester United manager also mulling move for Ajax’s Daley Blind

Louis van Gaal: Real Madrid’s price of €63m for Ángel di María cooled PSG’s interest but has opened the door for the Manchester United boss. Photograph: Reuters

Louis van Gaal: Real Madrid’s price of €63m for Ángel di María cooled PSG’s interest but has opened the door for the Manchester United boss. Photograph: Reuters

 

Louis van Gaal hopes to sign the Argentina defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon for €20 million and is renewing his interest in Ángel di María after the Real Madrid forward’s proposed transfer to Paris Saint-Germain fell through.

The Dutch man is also considering a move for Ajax’s Daley Blind.

Rojo is a left-sided defender who can operate at centre back, possesses considerable pace and is only 24, so fits the ideal of a Van Gaal player. The manager wants to deploy him at wing-back in his proposed 3-5-2 system or in the centre of defence. Given his considerable international experience Van Gaal would have no qualms regarding his ability to adapt to the Premier League. The former Estudiantes player also spent 2011-12 season at Spartak Moscow.

While his contract may contain third-party elements that can be common for players in Portuguese football, there is confidence at United that this will not be a problem. Reports in Portugal also suggested that Rojo had refused to train on Tuesday to force his transfer through.

If Rojo, Di María and Blind were landed, United’s total outlay would be more than €100 million. Yet despite Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera already arriving during the window, the club has set no limits on the funds available to Van Gaal.

For his proposed 3-5-2 system, Van Gaal wants players of pace to operate at wing back and the 63-year-old is conscious that Di María also has this quality, plus an attacking threat that would be a potent force against Premier League defences.

Di María seemed certain to join PSG but the deal collapsed after the president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, said that the price for the 26-year-old was “too expensive”.

While Real’s demand is thought to have been more than €63 million, PSG’s judgment that this was too costly has cleared the way for United to lodge a bid if Van Gaal gives the go-ahead for the player.

Van Gaal may turn to Blind after seeing the deal to take Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal collapse.

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