Angel Di Maria is ready to leave Real Madrid, according to multiple reports across Europe. The Argentinian star is said to be closing in on either a move to Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain, two clubs with extremely different prospects right now.
The Sun (subscription required) reported Di Maria's likely exit on Tuesday morning, running the headline, "Angel can fly to United," via 101 Great Goals:
Unfortunately for United, L'Equipe reports Di Maria is on the verge of joining PSG, as detailed by Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC:
L'Equipe: Real & PSG have an agreement in principle over the loan of Angel Di Maria, but the sticking point is the final price.— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) August 19, 2014
L'Equipe: PSG could complete signing of Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria this week. Player has informed Carlo Ancelotti of his desire to leave.— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) August 19, 2014
United fans are likely to react angrily if Di Maria secures a move to the Parc des Princes, especially when PSG aren't in the greatest financial position to sign a player of this ilk. The French club are likely to only sign Di Maria on loan after falling victim to UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, which has seen a major fine and transfer cap placed on the Ligue 1 champions.
Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail previously suggested United are more than capable of blitzing PSG's financial offering to the player.
Which club will Angel Di Maria represent for the majority of this season?
He even noted Di Maria "has told his family of his surprise" that United could offer £200,000 per week for his services. That said, PSG's on-pitch situation currently adheres to the needs of a top-level player, while United are still struggling to overcome life after Sir Alex Ferguson.
PSG have captured the last two Ligue 1 titles and have hopes of progressing into the latter stages of the Champions League. They are likely to continue qualifying for this competition over the coming years and can only consider Monaco as genuine threats to their domestic title.
Even the principality side finished nine points behind PSG last season after giant investments saw them sign Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho to try and plug the gap. Di Maria could slot right into Laurent Blanc's side and have an excellent shot of gaining silverware from this season.
Things aren't so straightforward at United, where drama on and off the pitch continues to ensue. Louis van Gaal's men were comfortably beaten by Swansea during their Premier League opener and currently appear unprepared to even match last season's seventh-place finish.
Reports suggest a lack of transfer activity could lead to protests against the Glazer family, the club's owners, per Ladyman. Perhaps tellingly, many United fans are also directing their anger toward chief executive Ed Woodward, who continues to show no urgency when trying to land new players.
Di Maria is unlikely to be attracted by this situation and will certainly have reservations over the club's lack of Champions League football. United have now reached the worrying point where world-class names will turn them down if a stint in Europe's elite competition isn't secured, meaning it is becoming increasingly difficult to land the marquee signings that are needed. A downward spiral, indeed.
Hopes could be rejuvenated by Di Maria's signing, especially as he would likely arrive alongside fellow Argentinian Marcos Rojo. The Sporting Lisbon defender admitted he expects to join United, per A Bola and O Jogo, via 101 Great Goals. Such arrivals could kickstart a late flurry in the transfer window, but if previous form is to go by, United will likely let the window close without the plethora of activity needed.
A number of names, including Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos, have been constantly linked to United before making the move elsewhere. Unless decisive action is taken soon, Di Maria will become the next high-profile player to snub an Old Trafford future.