Argentina Winger Angel Di Maria Set To Join Manchester United For Record Fee Of $100M
ANGEL DI MARIA will join ManU "in a British record transfer" -- after rivals Man City "turned down the chance to sign him," according to Simon Mullock of the London DAILY MIRROR. ManU will pay Real Madrid £60M ($100M) for the Argentina winger. It has "also agreed to stump up" another £7M ($11.6M) in add-ons. The deal "will shatter the current British record" of £50M paid by Chelsea to Liverpool in Jan. '11 for FERNANDO TORRES. He "is the big-name signing that United fans have craved" (DAILY MIRROR, 8/23). In London, Nicholas Rigg reported Real Madrid Manager CARLO ANCELOTTI has confirmed that Di Maria "is on the verge of a move away from the European champions." Ancelotti: "Di Maria has not trained with us. It's not official yet but he is close to a transfer. He has said his goodbyes and we thanked him for what he has done for us" (INDEPENDENT, 8/24). In London, Oliver Kay wrote Di Maria is expected arrive in London "within 24 hours." His contract with ManU is expected to be worth £200,000 a week, and the club is expected to be giving him the No. 7 jersey, "following in the footsteps of BRYAN ROBSON, DAVID BECKHAM and CRISTIANO RONALDO" (LONDON TIMES, 8/25).
DONE DEAL, ALMOST: In London Samuel Stevens wrote Liverpool hopes to announce the £16M ($26.5M) signing of Italian forward MARIO BALOTELLI from AC Milan on Monday -- but the Reds "have called off their interest" in fromer Chelsea striker SAMUEL ETO'O. Contrary to reports Balotelli "is not expected to agree to a 'code of conduct' clause in his contract" and looks set to earn £90,000 ($149,000)-a-week. The 24-year-old striker, "who was in Melwood this weekend, returned to Italy to say his goodbyes ahead of the switch." The Italian "will sign a three-year contract but won't be confirmed as a Liverpool player in time to play his former employers" when the Reds play Man City on Monday night (INDEPENDENT, 8/24).