Football: Manchester United pay record $119m for Real's Di Maria

Angel Di Maria could make his debut for United on Saturday after moving to his new club this week. Photo / AP
Angel Di Maria could make his debut for United on Saturday after moving to his new club this week. Photo / AP

Manchester United have agreed a British record transfer fee of £59.7 million ($119 million) to sign Argentina midfielder Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid, according to British media reports.

Several media outlets, including the BBC, reported that United have finally sealed a deal for Di Maria after several days of negotiations with the Spanish club.

The 26-year-old was said to have been seen arriving at United's training ground on Monday evening as he prepares to put pen to paper on a reported five-year contract worth an estimated £200,000 a week.

Di Maria's move to Old Trafford is expected to be completed today and will shatter the previous British record fee of £50 million paid by Chelsea to sign Spain striker Fernando Torres from Liverpool in 2011.

United last broke the British transfer record when they paid Leeds £29.1 million for Rio Ferdinand in 2002 and the deal will also eclipse the club record £37.1 million they splashed out to sign Juan Mata from Chelsea in January.

His arrival in Manchester would be the headline deal of United's overhaul under new manager Louis van Gaal, who has already spent a combined £72 million on England left-back Luke Shaw, Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera and Di Maria's Argentina teammate Marcos Rojo.

Assuming the transfer is finalised on schedule, Di Maria, capped 52 times, could make his debut at Burnley on Saturday as van Gaal looks to revitalise a United team still without a win after the first two games of the new Premier League campaign.

Former Benfica star Di Maria has an impressive pedigree after winning the Champions League with Real last season and the Spanish title in 2012.

He was also named on Fifa's 10-man shortlist for the best player at the recent World Cup where Argentina reached the final, although he was unable to play in that game or the semifinal because of an injury he suffered in the quarter-final win over Belgium.

- AFP

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