Di Maria no-show in US tour, 'good possibility' of PSG transfer

While fans of Man United will be happy with their 3-1 win against Barcelona, with Adnan Januzaj (right) among the scorers, Louis van Gaal says the real test will come when the EPL season begins.
While fans of Man United will be happy with their 3-1 win against Barcelona, with Adnan Januzaj (right) among the scorers, Louis van Gaal says the real test will come when the EPL season begins.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

SANTA CLARA (California) • The long-running transfer saga surrounding Angel di Maria is expected to conclude tomorrow, with the Manchester United midfielder joining Paris Saint-Germain.

The 27-year-old failed to join up with the United squad on their United States tour while PSG manager Laurent Blanc revealed that there is a "good possibility" the player will join the French champions.

Di Maria had been due to arrive in California on Saturday. But United manager Louis van Gaal told reporters after his side's 3-1 friendly victory over Barcelona at the Levi's Stadium that he had failed to board a flight to San Francisco.

"I have heard that he's not on the plane so I cannot say anything," said the Dutchman.

Di Maria had been excused from the first part of United's tour after playing in the Copa America along with fellow Red Devils team-mate Marcos Rojo.

The defender also failed to link up with the United squad but van Gaal put the no-show down to a passport issue.

"I heard Marcos Rojo was not on the plane, he had passport issues," the manager said.

"But, di Maria, I do not know."

Shortly afterwards, Blanc said in Charlotte, North Carolina - where PSG lost on penalties to Chelsea - that transfer talks were under way.

PSG face United on Wednesday in Chicago, and Blanc is hopeful that di Maria will be in a new kit.

"There is a good possibility (di Maria could sign) but there is nothing official," said the Frenchman.

"There is an anticipation he is going to come to the US but as to which jersey he is going to wear, we don't know yet. If he makes a choice, we hope it's for PSG."

Di Maria joined United last year in a £59.7 million (S$127 million) British record transfer from Real Madrid but has failed to settle during a difficult first season.

L'Equipe newspaper yesterday reported that a deal to bring him to Paris would cost around €63million (S$95 million).

Without the Argentine, United did not look short of attacking options against a Barca side missing Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Wayne Rooney scored the opening goal before second-half strikes from Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj settled an entertaining game.

Rafinha got a consolation goal for the European champions.

A satisfied van Gaal, however, insisted that one should not read too much into a pre-season result.

"We won last year (against Real Madrid in pre-season) and it doesn't mean anything because we lost the first match of the Premier League season against Swansea," he said. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2015, with the headline 'Di Maria no-show in US tour, 'good possibility' of PSG transfer'. Print Edition | Subscribe