Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has said Angel Di Maria is still part of his plan for the new season, despite recent big money arrivals in the midfield.
The Argentine, who scored 11 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions last season, have been linked with a move away from the European champions following the arrival of Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich and James Rodriguez from Monaco this summer.
“Di Maria is a Real Madrid player,” said Ancelotti. “With the Rodríguez and Kroos signings there is more competition in the midfield, but that’s the way it is at the big clubs.
“Competition is energy and last year we had problems at the end of the season”.
The 26-year-old attacking midfielder’s contract with the ‘Los Blancos’ runs until August 2018, but that has not stopped suitors from testing the club’s resolve on holding on to one of their prized assets who most probably appears to be surplus to requirement in the present.
He has been linked with a move to Premier League club Manchester United and French Ligue 1 champions Paris St-Germain, with reports in Spain suggesting he will make his final decision, as to join either of the two, in a matter of hours.
Real Madrid are understood to be holding out for a big money move- suggested to worth £40m- for Di Maria, who they signed from Benfica for €25m plus add-ons in 2010, but any decision is likely to come down to the player; understood to favour a move PSG to Manchester United.
But Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions have hampered negotiation with the French club, who already have landed £50m David Luiz from Chelsea, while United seem not to have given up in their pursuit of the player, whose only goal at the World Cup helped Argentina progressed to the quarter-finals before missing the losing-finalists’ final two matches in the tournament due to a thigh muscle tear.
PSG Coach Laurent Blanc is not disclosing too much at the moment, but says no agreement has been reached with the Estadio Santiago Bernebeu club yet.
“I’ll leave you to speculate,” he told reporters. “At the moment nothing is done. Are there negotiations? It’s not for me to say, but for the board of the club.”
However, Ancelotti further insists the arrival of Kroos and Rodriguez offers more competition at the La Liga giants, fresh from winning the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in the previous campaign.
“We have a good, competitive squad. The club is doing a really good job and it will until the last day. Real Madrid always tries to have players with quality and future and that is why we have made signings”, added the 55-year-old Italian boss.
“Kroos was also one of the best. Real Madrid need this type of player for the future and the present”.