Angel di Maria deal set to break record
MANCHESTER United are close to signing Real Madrid's Argentina winger, Angel di Maria, in a deal that is expected to smash the British transfer record, according to media reports.
The BBC said United have been quoted £75 million (S$155 million) by Real.
The Old Trafford club do not expect the final figure to be so high. However, senior club sources say it will "definitely" eclipse the £50 million Chelsea paid Liverpool for Spanish striker Fernando Torres in 2011.
Di Maria cost Real £20 million from Benfica in 2010.
Just three months ago, he was the Man of the Match in the Champions League final, which saw Real lift the European Cup for a record 10th time.
But the arrivals of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez have seen him fall down the pecking order at the Bernabeu.
That, allied to a contract dispute with the club, led to him asking to leave the Spanish capital and being left out of Carlo Ancelotti's squad for the 1-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Super Cup.
The Argentinian, who looked strong in pre-season after suffering a thigh injury in the World Cup quarter-finals which forced him out of the tournament, had turned down a new deal at the Bernabeu.
It is believed that he felt undervalued and wanted an improved salary to put him in line with the club's top earners.
"Di Maria has not trained with us today and he came in to say goodbye to the players and people at the club," Ancelotti said at a press conference in Madrid yesterday.
"The decision is his and the club has done what it could to keep him here, but he thought differently."
The Daily Mail reported that di Maria had already spoken to United manager Louis van Gaal about his likely role and said he was expected to be given the iconic No. 7 shirt worn by George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham.
A switch to van Gaal's side would see the player follow in the footsteps of international teammate Marcos Rojo, who signed for United on Wednesday.