sport

Di Maria bids farewell to Real

Angel Di Maria has already bid goodbye to his Real Madrid team-mates ahead of his expected transfer to Manchester United, Carlo Ancelotti has revealed.

The Argentina international is expected to hold talks with United next week over the transfer which will be a British record if it breaks the 50m paid by Chelsea for Liverpool and Spanish striker Fernando Torres three years ago.

Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague says the final figure on the deal is 63.9m (€80m) and Di Maria will travel to Manchester on Monday afternoon.

Sky Sports News’ chief news reporter Bryan Swanson understands Real Madrid’s initial asking price for Di Maria was 75m (€94m) and negotiations between both clubs were continuing on Sunday.

Ancelotti confirmed the winger had come to the club’s training base to bid farewell to his team-mates and the club’s staff before he heads to Manchester to complete the move next week.

"Di Maria has not trained with us today (Sunday) and he came in to say goodbye to the players and people at the club," Ancelotti told a news conference in Madrid.

"We are thankful for what he has done at this club. There is nothing official yet but it is being sorted out."

Despite winning man of the match in Real’s Champions League final triumph over city rivals Atletico last season, Di Maria was deemed expendable by club president Florentino Perez following the arrival of World Cup top-scorer James Rodriguez from Monaco.

That put Di Maria’s place in Ancelotti’s starting 11 in jeopardy and, when contract talks between the player and club stalled, with Di Maria feeling club officials were failing to recognise his value and contribution to the team, the decision was made to sell.

The Real manager maintains the decision to leave was made by the player and hinted the Spanish giants will be looking for a replacement before the window closes.

"The decision is his and the club has done what it could to keep him here but he thought differently and so good luck to him," Ancelotti said.

"I am very happy with the work that he has done for Madrid but we have the chance to replace him well."