It was exciting times for Manchester United when we signed Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid. Having just been named Man of the Match in the Champions League final a couple of months earlier, we knew we had a real talent on our hands.
After a bright start, Di Maria’s form took a turn and Louis van Gaal’s tactics failed to get the best out of him, with the Argentinian played out of position.
Di Maria didn’t seem to have much interest in fighting for his place and a burglary on his home only seemed to further switch him off from life in Manchester.
However, his translator, Debora Gomes, has claimed Di Maria wanted to leave after starting to believe we had only signed him to sell shirts. This is a strange argument as United don’t get the money from shirt sales. We agree a deal with the manufacturer over a certain number of years and are paid regardless. Adidas signed a deal with us in 2014 which agreed to pay us £750m over 10 years.
It should be noted that Di Maria made up over 9% of all total Premier League named shirts that season though, more than any other player. Although it’s hard to believe that could be the motivation to break a transfer record to sign a player.
He was unhappy at the club. Firstly, he couldn’t communicate with anyone. And second because he realised the club bought him not because the club thought “oh, he will bring titles to us because he is a good player”. No. Because they simply wanted to sell his shirts. This I heard inside the club, the people talking. “Di Maria sells T-shirts, so let’s buy him”. So he was not happy.
I realised, after Sir Alex Ferguson left the club, the club lost interest in football. It’s money, money, money. It’s making money and that’s it. So the players, when they try and decide who to buy, they will meticulously say: “what will bring more money?” They are not thinking of bringing joy to the fans. They are thinking of selling.