Manchester United are reportedly ready to commit as much as £100 million in their pursuit of Real Madrid’s Argentinian winger Angel di Maria, according to Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail, who I believe is one of the most trustworthy journalists there currently is, especially on anything about Manchester United. Saturdays opening Barclays Premier League match with Swansea City, which resulted in a 2-1 defeat for the Red Devils showed exactly how much United have fallen from their perch over the last 12 months. It was also clear that failure to invest in the side this summer would be the start of a catastrophic chain of events which could take years, or even more, to resolve.
I am sure many will presume that the £100 million figure quoted in the press will be a transfer fee, it won’t. United know that it will take a bid in the region of £50 million to lure the player to Old Trafford this summer. Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has been suggesting that he does not want to sell the winger this summer, but with the money the club have spent on Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez already, balancing the books my be necessary and a decision will probably be made over the Italian managers head. The Argentinian winger will also play a lesser role at the club, as they will not be benching the likes of Rodriguez over him, and at United, he would walk straight into the side, whether people feel he is a player we need or not.
The Daily Mail report that they understand Di Maria has been told that “once performance related enhancements have been taken into account, they will pay him in the region of £200,000 per week”, which would put him in a similar wage category to that of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie as the clubs highest earners. It is also stated that the Old Trafford club would be offering the Argentinian FIFA World Cup finalist a five-year deal with the club. The Daily Mail go on to state that Di Maria “is aware of United;s capacity to pay big wages and he has told his family of his surprise that the English club’s offer outstrips anything so far made by other suitors”. Paris Saint-Germain were seriously interested in the player, but ruled out a move because of Financial Fair Play implication after they spent £50 million on former Chelsea defender David Luiz.
United now face the obstacle of conducting a deal with Real Madrid for the player, something that may be considered a problem, especially if manager Carlo Ancelotti sticks to his guns and demands to keep the player, which with the talent he has at his disposal would seem a little selfish. There will be problems incurred with the amount of superstars currently at the club, some will have their noses cut off at a point and will stamp their feet in protest of being benched or even dropped from the team, but if the manager wants to keep his player, I am sure he will end up getting his own way, so it will all be down to Ed Woodward and his team to negotiate a deal, something which after a month and a half of nothing after signing Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, does not install confidence in me right now.
European football is not something the Old Trafford club can lure players with this summer, they can only say that a season lacking UEFA Champions League football is a blip and they aim to be back in the swing of things next season. Whether it works or not remains to be seen. It worked with Luke Shaw, but he’s not a player that has played European football, and Ander Herrera was wanting the move to Old Trafford a year ago, so he will also consider it as a blip, or he would not have signed his contract. Other players can see things differently though. United need to be careful as not to attract the mercenary type players that are attracted by money and nothing else. Obviously you have to pay lucrative contracts to lure top players, but there will be a very fine line, which the club needs to make sure it doesn’t cross.
Manchester United currently have some good players in their ranks; Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Juan Mata, David De Gea, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw. They also have some promising player in Adnan Januzaj, who broke into the first team last season and seems to be doing well, but also the likes of Tyler Blackett, Reece James, Jesse Lingard, Tom Lawrence and James Wilson, who are all banging on the door to the first team. The defeat to Swansea City on Saturday was partly due to lack of investment as it was to injuries and lack of fitness with a number of players being absent due to those reasons, but those players I mentioned added to the likes of Angel di Maria will help United get noticed and also help them build their fear factor back up again.
United are currently linked with Sporting’s Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo, but after a £16 million bid was placed last week, a row erupted between the player, the Portuguese club and the investment group owning the player, which may be something that has since been solved after the player apologised for his actions on Sporting TV on Sunday evening. The Old Trafford club are also linked to Ajax defender come midfielder Daley Blind, but comments form the player seem to suggest no offers have been made for him yet. The transfer window closes at 2300 BST on Monday 1st September 2014, which gives Manchester United a fortnight to show their rivals that they are still a threat. I am not so confident of major signings being made, but I challenge the club to prove me wrong, something that really would make me and many supporters happy, the investment in the squad that has been needed for some time now.