Argentina winger Angel di Maria was unveiled as a Paris Saint-Germain player on Thursday after completing his move from Manchester United on a four-year deal.
Di Maria, 27, penned a contract until June 2019 having already passed a medical in Doha before flying to Paris on Wednesday after Qatar-owned PSG agreed a fee of 63 million euros (A?44.3m; $68.9m) with United.
“I know a lot of big clubs were also interested in him. Angel will really give something extra to the team, especially in the Champions League. I hope he can win it with us,” said Paris president Nasser Al-Khelaifi at a press conference on Thursday evening at a plush hotel in the French capital, close to the Eiffel Tower.
Di Maria Becomes Second Most Expensive Player In Ligue-1 History
Di Maria becomes the second most expensive player in the history of French football behind Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, who joined Paris from Napoli for 64 million euros in the summer of 2013.
He had been a long-time target for the French champions but he chose United instead when leaving Real Madrid a year ago after helping the Spanish giants win the Champions League.
“I am very happy to be at PSG. I know it has been a few years now that they have been trying to sign me but for different reasons I wasn’t able to come before,” said the Argentine.
The former Rosario Central, Benfica and Madrid star will be looking to recover his very best form after a disappointing season in the Premier League with United as he failed to justify United’s decision to pay a British record fee of A?59.7 million for him.
I went because they decided to sell me – Angel Di Maria
He never fully settled in England, although he insisted that the decision to leave Old Trafford was not his alone.
“It was not only my decision to go. I went because they decided to sell me,” he said.
“Things did not go as well as I wanted them to in Manchester, but my present is here.”
After helping Argentina reach the final of the Copa America in Chile last month, Di Maria is behind in his pre-season preparations and will not play any part in PSG’s Ligue 1 season opener at Lille on Friday.
Indeed, it may be several weeks before he makes his debut for his new club after he came away from Argentina’s final defeat to the hosts with a thigh injury.
“I have had medical studies. I know the injury is much better, but since the Copa America ended I have not trained,” he admitted before adding that he will need another “two or three weeks” before being close to featuring.
He is the third major summer signing for Laurent Blanc’s side after German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp joined from Eintracht Frankfurt for 9.5 million euros and midfielder Benjamin Stambouli penned a five-year deal after moving from Tottenham Hotspur for nine million euros.
The arrival of Di Maria could be bad news for his compatriots Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi and Brazilian winger Lucas, who all now risk being pushed down the pecking order at the Parc des Princes.
a PSG English (@PSG_English) August 6, 2015