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Manchester United Close In On Big Name Target

Manchester United are finally set to land Angel di Maria, but given the last minute failure to get Arturo Vidal, Red Devil fans won’t believe anything until they see the Argentine take to the pitch at Old Trafford.

The Angel di Maria soap opera which has gone on an on all summer could finally be over with media outlets saying today that the move is imminent.

The Mail has reported that that all parties now want the deal to go through and that the Argentinan has bid farewell to his team mates at the Bernabeu. Louis van Gaal was under the impression that he had landed his man on Saturday night for an upfront fee of £6o million plus an additional an £8 million based on performances.

However, Real Madrid are holding out, hoping to edge the price up to a stupendous £75 million which would shatter the £50 million British transfer record which Chelsea paid for Fernando Torres.

While the Dutchman has remained tight lipped on the matter, Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti has been more forthcoming and his remarks reported in The Irish Independent appear to indicate  that di Maria is on his way.

“We gave thanks for what he has done for this club and wish him luck for the future. It is not official, but it is solved. I have personally had a good relationship with him and did a fantastic job here. It was his decision to leave because the club did everything possible for him to stay by offering everything to him to stay.”

While di Maria is an excellent signing there is the feeling out there that the Red Devils are being forced into overpaying with a combination of a poor start to the season, no Champions League football and a ticking clock leaving van Gaal with few options. Former club stalwart Gary Neville echoed this view.

“It’s good business if they get the right player. They’re overpaying for him, but they’ve lost their negotiating strength. They just need to get the right players. Last year they overpaid for two players that I don’t believe fit the philosophy of the club. This one does: he can run, he can get from box to box quickly, he’ll inject pace into a game, and I think it’s the right signing.”

The di Maria deal is not the only bit of business left for van Gaal in the last days of the transfer window, with vacancies at the back and midfield also to be filled, according to The Mirror.

Van Gaal may look towards compatriots Nigel de Jong and Daley Blind for these signings. Blind is a versatile defender who can also play at left back, centre half and centre midfield. Like recent signing Marcos Rojo, he would be a good option to reinforce the United back four which has lost stalwarts Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidić and Patrice Evra over the summer.

The price tag to prise Blind away from Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam would be £16 million, a veritable bargain compared to the other cheques chief executive Ed Woodward will sign in the next few days.  

De Jong, who along with Blind was in the Dutch World Cup Squad, is also believed to be a target. The fee which would be required to bring the ex Manchester City man away from current club AC Milan would be in the region of £10 million.

Dan O’Mahony Pundit Arena.

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