Football: Angel di Maria never wanted to join Manchester United

Paris Saint-Germain forward Angel Di Maria looks on during the French L1 football match against Olympique de Marseille at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on Oct 4, 2015.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Angel Di Maria looks on during the French L1 football match against Olympique de Marseille at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on Oct 4, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Angel di Maria has recognised he was desperate to leave Manchester United to join the French champions after an ill-fated solo season in England.

Di Maria's near £60 million (S$129 million) move from Real Madrid to United last year remains a British transfer record. The Argentine failed to live up to the form he had shown in Madrid's Champions League winning campaign in 2014, though, as he left having scored just four goals in 32 appearances.

However, he confirmed that a terrifying attempted robbery at his Manchester home in February had precipitated his desire to join the French champions.

"I started very well, but then I had problems with people at the club," he told Spanish sports daily Marca on Thursday.

"I started to be put on the bench. Then my house was robbed, all of it made me want to leave there quickly."

Di Maria will return to Madrid with PSG in the Champions League next week having spent four years with Los Blancos.

The 27-year-old was pushed out of the club to make way for James Rodriguez after his stellar performances at the 2014 World Cup despite di Maria's major role in finally delivering Madrid's 10th European Cup. And he claimed he never wanted to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.

"My intention was always to stay. I never wanted to leave," he said. "I don't know what happened inside the club, but that was more to do with agents. These are things that happen in football. I left as I left, but I take with me the nicest part which was the final ovation of the Bernabeu."