Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is determined to keep Angel Di Maria, despite his club spending £63 million on James Rodriguez. The deal for Colombian football's brightest talent has prompted strong suggestions that Los Blancos will use stars such as Di Maria to recoup their money.
However, Ancelotti is far from keen on the idea of using Di Maria as a means to any such end, per Simeon Gholam of the Daily Mail:
Carlo Ancelotti has vanquished any suggestions of Angel Di Maria leaving this summer by confirming that he is an important player for Real Madrid.
The Argentine winger's future at the club had been under some doubt after the big-money signings of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, and the club have been reportedly looking to offload the likes of Di Maria, Isco and Sami Khedira to finance the deals.
And he has been linked with a move to a host of Europe's top clubs such as Manchester United and Paris Saint-German.
Kroos' arrival shouldn't affect Di Maria too much. The Germany international will likely compete for a central midfield berth in deeper areas than the ones usually occupied by Di Maria.
The latest Galáctico pic.twitter.com/SL5XoberCH— AS English (@English_AS) July 22, 2014
Instead, it's Rodriguez who poses the biggest threat to the mercurial Argentine. As a winger also capable of operating as a No. 10, Rodriguez shares many of Di Maria's finest attributes.
He boasts pace, trickery, close control, technical guile, creativity and flair. Those are qualities that helped Rodriguez shine at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and prompted Madrid to buy him.
However, they are also the same qualities that Di Maria thrived with for Real under Ancelotti last season. The wily Italian coach took the pacy wide man off the flanks and unleashed his creative instincts from central areas.
The positional switch proved to be a masterstroke. Di Maria responded with 22 assists in La Liga and UEFA Champions League action, per WhoScored.com.
He became a vital supply line to forwards Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Madrid often refuse to rest on a position of strength. That's just not a characteristic of the policy of team president Florentino Perez.
That's a model that relies on hoovering up the best and the brightest in the game, regardless of need or cost. The problem is that Real often have to dump talented existing players to make room for Perez's shiny new stars.
It was no coincidence that both Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil were shipped out last summer. That was the same summer Bale arrived for a world-record fee from Tottenham Hotspur.
Should Real Madrid Cash in on Angel Di Maria?
Whether Ancelotti likes it or not, Di Maria represents the quickest way for Perez to start making his money back from the Rodriguez deal. The Argentina ace is said to command a £48 million fee, according to Daily Express reporter Anthony Chapman.
That's a sum certainly in the range of both United and PSG. If Perez gets that offer, he's unlikely to turn it down no matter what Ancelotti wants or thinks.
Such is the life of a Madrid manager under Perez.
There is no denying that Madrid have signed a supremely gifted player in Rodriguez, but Ancelotti is going to find it difficult to accommodate the new star with some of the old ones.
Real Madrid president Pérez: “Buying and selling is possible up to the very last day”— AS English (@English_AS) July 24, 2014
Having Di Maria, Rodriguez, Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo in the same starting 11 would create the kind of imbalance that crippled Los Blancos during the first Galacticos era.
Ancelotti may just have to accept that one of his key players from last season will be shoved through the exit door this summer. That's just the way of life at a club regularly enthralled with the next big thing.