The Argentinian almost joined his club’s cross-town rivals Manchester United.
Manchester City Manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that his side were unable to buy Angel Di Maria because of financial fair play (FFP) restrictions.
The arrivals of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos made Di Maria surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, who made it clear to other clubs in Europe that he was available.
Manchester City boss was keen to sign the Argentinian, but the restrictions placed on city after they broke FFP regulations last year made the deal impossible.
“We had important restrictions about our budget this year. We cannot spend the money that United paid for Di Maria,” he told Goal.
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With City out of the picture, Manchester United were able to sign the winger in a massive €76m deal as part of a late summer spending spree.
Di Maria has been in exceptional form for his new club, and Pellegrini will have been watching enviously, wondering what could have been.
He will also be wondering how his side will deal with the former Real Madrid man on Sunday. Pablo Zabaleta must be ready for a long day against a player who will run at him all game.
Di Maria has three goals, four assists and has taken 22 shots in the league this year.