Yesterday, Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, gave an interview claiming that Angel Di Maria left for Manchester United for the money.

“We made the best offer that we could to Di Maria and he didn’t accept it,” he said. “Hence, we brought in James, one of the best players at the World Cup and the Golden Boot award winner. Di Maria and all of those that have left have our gratitude and respect. A player that is under contract and leaves is because he wants to. Real has always respected contracts. Di Maria had financial requests that I considered legitimate but we couldn’t satisfy them. I reiterate that we made him the best possible offer. With the exception of Cristiano, Di Maria would have been the highest paid at Real Madrid. Had we accepted his financial demands it would have created an unbalanced treatment that would have put the club’s stability in danger.”

Di Maria has reacted angrily to these comments, claiming that Perez is talking rubbish and also criticised his former club for trying to convince him not to play in the World Cup final.

“I saw what Florentino said. To be able to earn like Cristiano, you need to have won the Ballon d’Or,” he said. “I don’t have much of a relationship with Florentino. He wasn’t even there when I signed my contract. A letter from Real Madrid arrived [the day of the final] at 11 am to forbid me to play. They gave it to me and I tore it up. I told Sabella I wanted to play. It was his choice not to risk me.”