Wed, Aug 27, 2014 - Page 20 News List

United agree record US$98m fee for Di Maria: UK reports

AFP, LONDON

Former Real Madrid midfielder Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona in Valencia, Spain, on April 16.

Photo: AFP

Manchester United have agreed a British record transfer fee of £59.7 million (US$98 million) to sign Argentina midfielder Angel di Maria from Real Madrid, British media reported on Monday.

Several media outlets, including the BBC, reported that United have finally sealed a deal for Di Maria after several days of negotiations with the La Liga giants.

The 26-year-old was said to have been seen arriving at United’s training ground on Monday evening as he prepares to put pen to paper on a reported five-year contract worth an estimated £200,000 a week.

Di Maria’s move to Old Trafford was expected to be completed yesterday and shatter the previous British record fee of £50 million paid by Chelsea to sign Spain striker Fernando Torres from Liverpool in 2011.

United last broke the British transfer record when they paid Leeds United £29.1 million for Rio Ferdinand in 2002 and the deal will also eclipse the club-record £37.1 million they splashed out to sign Spaniard Juan Mata from Chelsea in January.

Real manager Carlo Ancelotti revealed over the weekend that Di Maria had said goodbye to his teammates and he was absent from the Los Blancos squad as they beat Cordoba on Monday.

His arrival in Manchester would be the headline deal of United’s overhaul under new manager Louis van Gaal, who has already spent a combined £72 million on England leftback Luke Shaw, Spain midfielder Ander Herrera and Di Maria’s Argentina teammate Marcos Rojo, who is also left-footed like him.

Assuming the transfer is finalized on schedule, Di Maria, capped 52 times, could make his debut at Burnley on Saturday as Van Gaal looks to revitalize a United team still without a win after the first two games of the new Premier League campaign.

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