Angel Di Maria transfer to PSG is an embarrassment for all involved.
The Angel Di Maria transfer saga must be one of the most disappointing of living memory, more so even than the petulant behaviour of Raheem Sterling‘s forced move from Liverpool to Manchester City this summer.
While many smirk at Sterling’s interview with BBC Sport earlier this year – in which he insists he is not a money-grabber – it is fair to say that the England international has made a real step up in his career by leaving a struggling club for one with real ambition to win the major trophies. Having done his best and failed to help the Reds to win the Premier League, it is fair enough that Sterling looked for a move to better himself and play with better players and in bigger competitions like the Champions League.
Di Maria, however, is making a money-driven choice if he does end up moving to Paris Saint-Germain this summer, as reported by various sources. The Independent claims Manchester United have accepted a bid of £45.m for the Argentine, while the Daily Express add that the player himself has ‘demanded’ to be allowed to make the move to the Parc des Princes just a year after joining the Red Devils from Real Madrid.
All this, despite a recent report from the Daily Mirror that United boss Louis van Gaal wanted Di Maria to stay and prove himself at Old Trafford for at least one more season. Having spent so much on the 27-year-old last year, it’s not so much to ask, is it? A little loyalty to a club that handed him the famous number 7 shirt and tried to make him a key part of the team, but Di Maria seems to have given up on making a career for himself in the Premier League after just one season that didn’t go perfectly for him.
Sure, the former Real Madrid man has not immediately looked ideally suited to the faster and more physical nature of English football, and he may have struggled mentally to deal with that heavy price tag (a club-record £59.7m, according to BBC Sport‘s article when he joined), but what kind of player hides away from such expectations as soon as things start to go wrong?
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In accepting a move to PSG, it seems pretty clear that Di Maria is more interested in moving to a far less competitive league, playing for a newly-assembled team with relatively little history prior to their takeover by wealthy Qatari businessman Nasser Al-Khelaifi in 2011. Having won La Liga and the Champions League in more successful times in his time in Spain, it is not so surprising that the player now feels he has achieved all he wants to in the game and is preparing for a cushy end to his career on a lucrative contract (£7m a year, according to the Daily Express), not so unlike ageing stars like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard quitting the Premier League for moves to the MLS this summer.
Although it is a blow for United to lose a potentially world class performer, they are perhaps best to be rid of this cowardly member of their squad. With Memphis Depay joining this summer, they arguably already have an ideal replacement in the attacking midfield area and don’t need to worry too much about rebuilding.
Still, PSG should reconsider their transfer policy once again. Having moved for the hugely overrated David Luiz last summer, they are once again opting for a player with a questionable personality who is unlikely to really give it his all and provide what is needed for the Ligue 1 champions to progress in the Champions League and become a genuine force in the game.