Premier League - United, Real 'settle on £64m fee for Di Maria'

Angel Di Maria's move to Manchester United from Real Madrid has moved ever closer, with the clubs appearing to finally agree a fee.

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Angel Di Maria, Argetina (PA Sport)

A fresh twist emerged on Sunday morning, with some reports suggesting that Real Madrid had upped their asking price and were looking for as much as £75m for the Argentine – a figure that would have made Di Maria the third most expensive player of all-time after Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

United's initial bid of £48m was rejected by Real, but according to respected Spanish journalist Guillem Balague the clubs have now settled on a fee of just under £64m.

If the deal goes through it will smash the previous British transfer record of £50m which Chelsea paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed Di Maria was on the verge of leaving.

"Di Maria has not trained with us today and he came in to say goodbye to the players and people at the club," Ancelotti told a news conference in Madrid.

"We are thankful for what he has done at this club. There is nothing official yet but it is being sorted out. I am very happy with the work that he has done for Madrid but we have the chance to replace him well.

"The decision is his and the club has done what it could to keep him here but he thought differently and so good luck to him."

Di Maria is expected to fly to Manchester on Monday.

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Some reports suggest that Real will use the money to finance a deal for Monaco striker Radamel Falcao.

The sale of Di Maria would free up the non-EU space they would need in their squad to bring in the Colombian striker.

Di Maria cost Real £20 million from Benfica in 2010 and he was a key part of the team that won the club's 10th European Cup last term.

The 26-year-old was linked with an exit from Madrid last summer following the £86m signing of Gareth Bale but it was Mesut Ozil who was sacrificed.

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However, another summer of expensive recruitment - with James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos coming in - means Di Maria has been judged as expendable, despite claiming 17 assists in 34 Liga games last season.

Di Maria was initially used as a winger. However, he was brilliant last season in a more central role under Ancelotti.

United have already spent around £75m on three players this summer with Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo coming in.

The signing of Di Maria will take their spending close to £140m, and the club are also now expected to sign Ajax defender Daley Blind for around £20m before the transfer window closes next week.

They have also been heavily linked with central midfielders Nigel De Jong and Arturo Vidal with the prospect of AC Milan enforcer De Jong joining beginning to emerge as a more realistic prospect.

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