Barcelona to replace Neymar Jr. with PSG star Angel Di Maria

Barcelona FC are reportedly making plans to swoop on former Real Madrid and Manchester United star Angel Di Maria as a replacement for Neymar Jr.

Neymar is set to play his first Ligue 1 match tomorrow against Guingamp, and his arrival at Paris Saint-Germain means Di Maria’s career is hanging in the balance although the Argentine played 90 minutes against Amiens last week.

Image: Angel Di Maria

The Brazilian forward arrived Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) a few days ago as the world’s most expensive footballer. His outrageous £198m remains the highest transfer deal in football history.

Di Maria, 29, is more likely to have his playing time reduced at PSG to accommodate Neymar, and Barcelona are considering an urgent move for the left-footed Argentina international footballer.

Other players in Barca’s radar are Antoine Griezmann, Mesut Ozil, Christian Erikseen, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Paulo Dybala, Eden Hazard or Philippe Coutinho.

Ernesto Valverde missed out on  Marco Verratti and Hector Bellerin earlier in the summer transfer window. And Neymar’s shocking exit makes it necessary to buy a reliable midfielder like Di Maria, who is expected to blend perfectly with team captain Andres Iniesta.

Valverde has demanded an upgrade in his squad to enable them compete from a position of strength in this season’s La Liga and Champions League campaigns.

Teaming up with compatriots Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano at Camp Nou might guarantee a slot for Di Maria in Argentina’s 2018 World Cup campaign, especially if he loses his place at PSG TO Neymar.

Di Maria’s football career started with Central Rosario. His first chance for a move to Europe came from Befica which he left for Real Madrid (€25 million) after three years.

In 2014, he switched to Manchester United for a British record £59.7 million although football analysts believe his Premier League experience was one of the worst signings for that year. His perfect start with The Red Devils suffered a dip after his house was burgled.

Image: Angel Di Maria

The Argentine footballer later moved to PSG for £44 million after a rumored fall-out with United manager Louis van Gaal.

Di Maria reportedly missed United’s flight to the United States  for their pre-season tour on 25 July 2015. At that time, LVG denied being aware of the reason behind his player’s absence.

On 2 August, Di Maria completed a medical ahead of his move to PSG, and four days later the French champions announced him as their latest signing.

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