Manchester United have moved even closer to signing Argentinian winger Angel Di Maria in a deal which would smash the British transfer record. A deal of £63.8 million was reported to be accepted by Real Madrid, according to Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague. However the English club have refused to comment on the situation.
Rumours started when Di Maria expressed his desire to leave the European Champions after rejecting a new contract from coach Ancelotti. Manchester United expressed their interest in the player and were quoted £75 million for the player. However reports suggest the deal has been negotiated down to £63.8 million.
The fans have been frustrated by chief executive Ed Woodward’s approach to the club’s transfers, but the potential purchase of a world class player in Di Maria may finally win them over. The team still needs 3 or 4 world class players to add to their squad if they want to challenge for the title. The purchase may however attract more players to the club.
If the deal is finalised, it would break the British transfer record which was previously held by Fernando Torres for his £50m transfer to Chelsea. Di Maria will have to prove his worth, because I personally think he isn’t worth that much. The club need players like him in order to re-establish the dominance of the Premier League, which they have lacked since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Although they do need players like him and should be willing to overpay, the price tag may come with a lot of added pressure and expectation, which could of course be too much for the winger to handle, as we have seen with other big transfers such as Torres for Chelsea. I think that the pressure won’t affect him as you can tell by the way he plays that he is a very composed player on the pitch and plays without fear, even on the biggest stage.
Will He Fit in to the Team?
Over the past 20 years, Manchester United have had many world class wingers; Beckham, Ronaldo and Giggs to name a few. Di Maria will hope to leave his mark on the club and to be mentioned in the same breath as some of those greats. In the past few seasons, this is exactly the players that have been needed in the team. They have had Nani, Valencia and Young, but they have not been as effective as they could have been and have not reached their full potential due to perhaps a lack in confidence.
If they capture the Real Madrid winger, then the strength of their squad will massively improve because he is a game changer. As I previously mentioned, he plays without fear and has bags of pace. He brings so much potency to the team by running at and committing defenders.
With Van Gaal’s new tactics of a 3-5-2 formation, it is hard to see where he will fit in if they pursue with this formation. With both wide men playing a wing-back role I can’t see him fitting into the formation out wide. This means that he is most likely to play in the hole behind Rooney and Van Persie, which is currently occupied by Juan Mata, so Mata would have to drop to a deeper role in midfield, which is not his most effective position. So the signing could actually create a dilemma for Van Gaal.
On the first game of the season, we saw them change into a 4-3-3 formation, which would make it easier for Di Maria to fit in. It would mean that he could play in the front three alongside Rooney and Van Persie, while Mata still plays in the number 10 role behind Van Persie. This would make more sense for Manchester United, as there wouldn’t be anyone out of their favoured position. I think he would be more effective out wide, as he can look to get in behind the defense and cause a threat.
Di Maria will be a good signing if he is played in the right position, where he can cause a threat by running at and getting in behind defenders. It could create a dilemma for Van Gaal knowing where to play him, which may mean that he has to re-think his tactics. For Man United to challenge for the title, they need many other signings especially in defense and midfield, as their current squad is simply just not good enough. I feel that this could be the start of many new players coming to the club.