Yesterday it was announced that Paris Saint-Germain would not be pursing the signing of Real Madrid attacker Angel Di Maria. In a press conference to announce the signing of ex-Chelsea defender David Luiz, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi revealed that the fee for Di Maria was ‘too expensive’.
Al-Khelaifi admitted that the French giants had contacted Real Madrid to discuss the possibility of a transfer. However, the transfer fee quoted – thought to be in excess of £50million – seems to have cooled their interest.
Al-Khelaifi said: “We spoke with Real Madrid about the possibility of signing Angel Di Maria, but it was too expensive.”
Di Maria stared for Argentine this summer at the World Cup, helping them the reach the final. The interest from the French club would have seen the Argentinian join an already impressive attacking line up, with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi just some of the options available.
However, the collapse of the deal could be seen as a success for UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations and has raised further questions about Di Maria’s future.
Victory for Financial Fair Play?
Paris Saint-Germain were punished by UEFA at the end of last season for breaching financial Fair Play regulations, and the arrival of David Luiz from Chelsea for a reported £50million fee appeared to indicate PSG still had little desire to play by UEFA’s rules.
The rumours of the Di Maria transfer included an initial season-long loan followed by a permanent transfer next season. This would have spread the outlay on the transfer and was seen by many as a way to circumnavigate the FFP rules.
However, with the threat of expulsion from the Champions League being UEFA’s maximum punishment, it seems there has been a shift in the ideology of the PSG hierarchy.
The admission that Di Maria is too expensive may indicate the French giants are only in a position to make one ‘star’ buy per year, if they are to escape further punishment.
What now for Di Maria?
Di Maria’s future for now remains unclear. The arrival of James Rodriguez at Real Madrid has put Di Maria’s place in the team under threat and there appears to be an urgency at the Bernabeu to get the Argentinian off the books.
There are few teams in Europe who have the financial muscle to match Real’s valuation of the winger. Manchester United have been talked about as potential suitors, however Louis van Gaal has already stated that he possesses too many attacking midfielders.
The clubs new formation of 3-5-2 would also mean Di Maria would have to play out of position; either as a striker or a wing back.
The Argentine is not famed for his defensive work, which could make playing as a wing back difficult and with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie up front, it appears unlikely he will make the switch to Old Trafford.
With the rest of the Europe’s elite clubs seemingly uninterested, it is a possible that Real will have a rather expensive bench warmer on their books next season, unless they drop their asking price.