Manchester United have signed winger Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for a British record transfer fee of £59.7m.
The Argentine winger had a medical in Manchester on Tuesday and has signed a five-year deal. The fee eclipses the £50m Chelsea paid Liverpool for striker Fernando Torres in 2011.
Di Maria is the sixth most expensive global signing ever, topped only by the big money paid out by Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. Real signed Gareth Bale for £85m, Cristiano Ronaldo for £80m and James Rodriguez for £63m, while Barcelona paid between £65m and £75m for Luis Suarez, and £71m for Neymar.
The Manchester club have spent £131.7m since last season, having bought left-back Luke Shaw, midfielder Ander Herrera and Di Maria’s Argentina team-mate Marcos Rojo for a combined £72m this summer.
The acquisition of James Rodriguez from AS Monaco and Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich established the fact that di Maria didn’t have an assured starting spot under Carlo Ancelotti next season. The Real manager confirmed that di Maria had asked to move away from the club.
Di Maria was delighted at joining the 20 times English league champions. He said, “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester United. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Spain and there were a lot of clubs interested in me, but United is the only club that I would have left Real Madrid for.
“Louis van Gaal is a fantastic coach with a proven track record of success and I am impressed by the vision and determination everyone has to get this club back to the top – where it belongs. I now just cannot wait to get started.”
The United coach was also happy with the Argentine’s arrival and hailed the ‘world class’ player. He said, “Angel is a world-class midfielder but most importantly he is a team player. There is no doubting his immense natural talent. He is a tremendously fast and incisive left-footed player who puts fear into the most accomplished defence. His dribbling skills and his ability to take on and beat opponents are a joy to watch. He is an excellent addition to the team.”
Top Image Courtesy Manchester United Official Facebook Page