x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Transfer talk: Angel Di Maria bids farewell to Real Madrid as move to Manchester United draws closer

British newspapers said a move for the 26-year-old is likely to cost more than the 50 million pounds ($82.84 million) Chelsea paid Liverpool for Spain striker Fernando Torres in 2011.

Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria from Argentina reacts during a Spanish Super Cup soccer match against Atletico Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 . (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria from Argentina reacts during a Spanish Super Cup soccer match against Atletico Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 . (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

London // Angel di Maria bade farewell to his Real Madrid teammates on Sunday as a move to Manchester United moved closer.

Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, who said earlier this week that Di Maria had told the club he wanted to leave and rejected the offer of a new contract, said the Argentine winger had not taken part in training but had instead “come to say goodbye”.

United have not made any official comment on reports that they are ready to sign Di Maria. It has been reported the fee for the 26-year-old winger would eclipse the British record set by Fernando Torres’ £50 million (Dh304m) move from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011.

“He has come and has not practised. It’s not official yet, but he came to say goodbye,” Ancelotti said. “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.”

The Italian, whose team face Cordoba in their Spanish Primera Liga opener at the Bernabeu tonight, added: “I have personally had a good relationship with him and he 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.”

Louis van Gaal, the Manchester United manager, has already signed Di Maria’s international teammate Marcos Rojo this summer, while the club have also brought in another defender in England’s Luke Shaw and Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera.

Di Maria was the man of the match as Madrid claimed their 10th European Cup with a 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid back in May to cap a fine season.

However, he is believed to have wanted a vastly improved contract from Madrid and became frustrated with the arrivals of World Cup stars James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos in recent months.

Ancelotti, however, said Sami Khedira will not be leaving over the next week.

“He is happy and he will stay. He is very important for the team.”

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