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Di Maria 'wanted to join Paris Saint-Germain'

ESPN staff
September 3, 2014
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Paris Saint-Germain's president has claimed Angel Di Maria wanted to join the French champions before going to Manchester United.

Di Maria, 26, signed at Old Trafford for a British record transfer fee of £59.7 million last week, but PSG chiefs say the winger wanted to move to the Parc des Princes.

"Angel Di Maria wanted to come here," PSG boss Nasser Al Khelaifi, 40, told RMC as he bemoaned the impact of Financial Fair Play. "I met Florentino Perez, the Real president, twice, but we didn't reach agreement on the transfer fee."

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PSG's room for manoeuvre was reduced as a consequence of UEFA's punishments - including a fine and reduced Champions League squad - handed down for the club's infringement of FFP regulations but Al Khelaifi denied the Di Maria deal fell through as a direct consequence.

The former Real Madrid winger claimed he was pleased with his move to United but has not had an enjoyable start at the club, who are still awaiting their first competitive victory under new manager Louis van Gaal.

However, the Argentine is not worried by their lack of form and has underlined captain Wayne Rooney's assertion that new signing Falcao, who joined United on-loan during a manic transfer deadline day, will help turn the club's fortunes around.

Di Maria said: "It's true we have not won yet but we will put United where they'll belong this season. You'll see. Falcao is a great forward and he will help us."

Di Maria is currently with the Argentina squad preparing to face Germany in what has been dubbed a re-run of the World Cup final. However, the winger would have preferred to "avoid" the friendly match in order to concentrate on forging an understanding with his new United team-mates.

Di Maria told ESPN: "The season is very long, with the Copa America too at the end of the year. I believe these games, sometimes, I would prefer to avoid them.

"This is not about revenge [for the World Cup final], it is just a friendly game, nothing more. They are the world champions, and we are coming to their party, they will present the trophy. We will try and do our best."

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