• Premier League

Di Maria joins United for British-record £59.7m

ESPN staff
August 26, 2014
Manchester United have broken the British transfer record by signing Angel Di Maria © Getty Images

Manchester United have finally confirmed the capture of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for an initial British-record £59.7m fee, with the winger signing a five-year deal.

United will pay almost €75m up front to Real, with up to £12m (€15m) of add-ons and incentives attached, split into three potential payments of €5m.

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Sources have told ESPN that, with the way the deal would be structured, United will most likely end up paying around £64m (€80m) for the 26-year-old.

Di Maria told the club's website: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester United. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Spain and there were a lot of clubs interested in me, but United is the only club that I would have left Real Madrid for.

"Louis van Gaal is a fantastic coach with a proven track record of success and I am impressed by the vision and determination everyone has to get this club back to the top - where it belongs. I now just cannot wait to get started."

Van Gaal was equally impressed with his new capture, telling manutd.com: "Angel is a world-class midfielder but most importantly he is a team player. There is no doubting his immense natural talent.

"He is a tremendously fast and incisive left-footed player who puts fear into the most accomplished defence. His dribbling skills and his ability to take on and beat opponents are a joy to watch. He is an excellent addition to the team."

Di Maria was in Manchester on Monday night to agree terms on his five-year contract, with United aiming to select him for their trip to Burnley on Saturday as new manager Louis van Gaal tries desperately to inject some life into his struggling squad.

The fee represents a compromise between the two clubs after United were thought to have initially offered €60m while Madrid held out for €90m, with the two clubs eventually agreeing on €75m (£60m).

The fee eclipses the £50m Chelsea paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres in January 2011 and dwarfs United's previous club record, when they spent £37.1m to bring Juan Mata to Old Trafford from Stamford Bridge in January.

United last broke the British transfer record when they paid Leeds £29.1m for Rio Ferdinand in 2002, then also a world record fee for a defender.

This summer however, United have endured mixed fortunes in the transfer market. After appointing Van Gaal as manager in May following the sacking of David Moyes, they have spent a club-record £72m on Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo.

But attempts to land a string of big names, including Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos, have proved unsuccessful so far, leaving Van Gaal to declare United in need of "miracle" to win the title this season.

Van Gaal's side have one point from a possible six after an opening-day defeat to Swansea and Sunday's 1-1 draw with Sunderland.

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