Paris Saint-Germain will not sign Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid this summer after club President Nasser Al-Khelaifi confirmed negotiations stopped due to the player being too expensive.
Di Maria's future has continued to fuel headlines throughout the summer, with PSG and Manchester United thought to be leading the chase for his signature, as reported by Alex Harris of the Daily Express. The Red Devils could now enjoy a straight shot at landing the Argentinian's services after Al-Khelaifi ruled out a bid, as per MailOnline Sport and Get Football News:
It is likely PSG's battle against UEFA's Financial Fair Play restrictions will have halted the pursuit of Di Maria. The French champions recently received a fine and transfer cap after failing to break even during the governing body's first financial inspection.
Despite being owned by Qatar Sports Investments, a company which could throw near limitless money at the side, UEFA's measures aim to ensure Europe's top clubs compete on something of a level playing field. PSG appeared to exhaust their resources prior to the World Cup with the £50 million signing of David Luiz, whose value surely dipped after his questionable performances during the latter stages of the Brazilian showcase.
The club need to see this money returned somehow, most likely through the departure of a world-renowned star. Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi are thought to be among those who could exit, as reported by Jamie Anderson of the Daily Express.
PSG's inability to sign Serge Aurier on a permanent deal from Toulouse acted as a forewarning to the Di Maria situation. The Ivorian defender "would cost no more than £10 million," according to The Independent's Joe Krishnan, pittance for a team who signed Luiz for the most premium of sums. Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports was blunt when assessing PSG's business:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic suggested the Ligue 1 champions shouldn't invest in Di Maria shortly before Al-Khelaifi announced a deal was off. "I don't know if we need Di Maria," Ibrahimovic said, as per Nick Lustig of the Daily Star. "We have a team that in recent months has won many trophies without him. It's not me who decides. It is better to talk to the manager, not me."
ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson wonders whether comments from the club icon affected proceedings:
Di Maria could have added world-class quality to PSG's wings and central midfield, but he would by no means represent an essential purchase for the club. Madrid may need to lower their expectations when trying to offload the player, as UEFA's FFP guidelines could begin to creep if he isn't sold after Los Blancos acquired Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez and Keylor Navas.
Al-Khelaifi is wise to put the club's long-term stability ahead of grabbing further star power. PSG simply cannot afford to fail UEFA's parameters after the previous mishap, as a European football ban could loom if a repeat offence takes place.
It would be an unfortunate irony to spend on Di Maria and then not be able to use him in a full capacity, an occurrence that would damage the future prospects of a team that is just gaining momentum.