Football Football

Di Maria: Cristiano delayed Old Trafford move


VAN-GAAL-DI-MARIALONDON, September 2-Argentina international Angel Di Maria has revealed that he delayed his move to Manchester United following the intervention of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 28-year-old winger, who recently sealed a British transfer fee record switch to the Premier League outfit, has admitted he was close to joining the Red Devils ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.

He ultimately stayed and fought for his place at the Bernabeu following the purchase of Gareth Bale from Tottenham for a world record transfer fee.

And, it appears that Ronaldo played a crucial role in the talented winger sticking it out for another year in the Spanish capital.

Di Maria told ESPN Radio: “The truth is that I have a great relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo and I stayed at Madrid last season thanks to him.

“I left Madrid in the best possible way, by winning La Decima [10th European Cup crown]. In my farewell letter, I said exactly how I felt from the first day at the Bernabeu.

“I am grateful to Manchester United for meeting Madrid’s demands. But I don’t feel any extra pressure because I’m the most expensive player in the Premier League.

“The Premier League is more physical and about strength, whereas Spain was more about football. It’s a very strong league, though. Van Gaal has told me to try to adapt as quickly as possible.”