Paris Saint-Germain will reportedly "raise their £50 million ceiling" in a bid to sign Manchester United's Angel Di Maria if their Financial Fair Play sanctions are eased at the end of the season, according to Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.
Di Maria's bout of poor form lends itself to such rumours, especially as PSG were on the verge of signing him before UEFA's restrictions halted the French side's spending power. It is extremely unlikely United would entertain losing the player so soon—especially for a loss—after spending £59.7 million on the Argentinian during the summer.
Granted, Di Maria recently admitted playing for the Ligue 1 champions would have been a "great experience," per Jefferson: "I know I'm still young, perhaps I'll go to PSG one day," the 26-year-old said. "I don't know how it will all end."
Such comments suggest a switch across the Channel could arrive sometime in the future, but it makes little sense for United to cash in now. Despite posting a handful of forgettable performances after a fast start, Di Maria still managed to significantly influence the win over Arsenal.
His speed was valuable on the break and key to United's counter-attacking style against the Gunners, highlighted with his pass for Wayne Rooney's goal.
This was Di Maria's sixth assist of the season, per WhoScored.com, adding to the three he has scored in 10 games. As far as poor form goes, being involved in a goal nearly every match highlights his importance to United's future.
Di Maria should have netted late on when he was sent clear against Damian Martinez, but individuals who can provide telling results even when posting below-par performances are invaluable to United.
As we've seen with the sudden ineffectiveness of Robin van Persie, this isn't always the case. Louis van Gaal brought on James Wilson to inject "more pace," per John Dillon of the Daily Express, something B/R UK's Sam Tighe believes we could see more of in the future:
Speculation will inevitably lead to possible replacements being touted for Di Maria. United continue to be linked with Marco Reus, as reported by Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star, but any deal for the Borussia Dortmund forward will need to wait until after the German returns from injury in 2015.
The Red Devils received a boost in any attempt to land the BVB star after Chelsea ruled themselves out of the running:
Mourinho said, "We don't want Marco Reus," per Malata. "The market is closed and the player belongs to Borussia. We have top players in this position."
Ilkay Gundogan, another important, injury-ridden Dortmund player, may have captured United's interest with recent comments. He is linked to an Old Trafford switch by Kieran Gill of the Mail Online after recently confirming his desire to try something new.
"Playing abroad has always been one of my main objectives," Gundogan told Turkish TV's TRT1 Stadyum (h/t Cintia Gigato of Marca). "If I do leave here one day, I'd like to play in Spain or England."
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward recently confirmed there's a "low probability" the club will opt to sign anyone in January, as reported by BBC Sport.
This is surprising considering the side's lack of defensive quality, but improved performances against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal saw United rack up four points (perhaps deserving more).
A solid run into the new year is needed if the team is to be deemed capable of securing Champions League football. Rumours suggesting Di Maria will exit are likely to pass if his form improves, while United will continue to be linked with a host of players until their obvious weaknesses are addressed.
Van Gaal can take satisfaction from his side's improving form, but he will be brave to leave his squad untouched through January.