£20m: Cost of Manchester United’s failed Angel Di Maria gamble

Frank Dalleres
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Angel Di Maria
Manchester United are poised to cut their losses on Angel Di Maria by selling Britain’s most expensive player to Paris Saint-Germain for considerably less than they paid under a year ago.
Winger Di Maria, who cost United a record-breaking £59.7m from Real Madrid in late August 2014, was yesterday in the closing stages of completing a £44.3m move to the French club.
The hit taken by United has been softened by a weakened euro. The €63m fee agreed with PSG is just €12m (£8.4m) less than they committed to paying Real in instalments last summer.
But the Premier League giants also shelled out £200,000 per week in wages to the Argentina star, or around £10m since his signing.
Those figures takes United’s total financial hit on a player widely considered to have failed to meet expectations in his brief stay at Old Trafford to just under £20m.
Di Maria, 27, started just 24 games and made a further eight appearances off the bench in his solitary season in the north-west, scoring four goals and setting up a further 12.
Three of those goals came in his first five appearances, as he made a promising start to his United career. But injury and loss of form contributed to his failure to justify a fee almost £10m greater than the previous record, the £50m Chelsea paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres.
He started just once more following his sending off in a home FA Cup defeat to Arsenal in early March.
Speculation over Di Maria’s future increased when he was omitted from United’s pre-season tour and manager Louis van Gaal last week attempted to dodge questions over the former Benfica player’s role in his plans.


How Di Maria fared at United
  • Started well following £59.7m move from Real Madrid, scoring three goals in his first five games
  • Argentina star netted just once more after that amid injury problems and loss of form
  • Made just one start after getting sent off in FA Cup defeat to Arsenal at Old Trafford in early March

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