Barcelona infuriate Real Madrid 'with audacious £48m' bid for Di Maria
Barcelona have failed with an audacious £48m offer to sign Angel Di Maria from arch-rivals Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain.
The Argentine winger has been linked with Manchester United after Louis van Gaal's arrival at Old Trafford this summer, but the Premier League side are yet to make a move.
According to Spanish newspaper SPORT, Madrid president Florentino Perez has refused to even negotiate a possible transfer with their La Liga foes.
Barca had reportedly offered a package in excess of £45m for the 26-year-old and were optimistic that a deal could be done despite the obvious hurdles which would present themselves.
Madrid, however, have blocked the move after Di Maria informed manager Carlo Ancelotti of his desire to leave the Bernabeu this summer.
"Di Maria asked to leave and he refused a new contract offer but he's a Real Madrid player until we find a solution," Ancelotti said on Thursday ahead of the Spanish Super Cup second leg clash with Atletico Madrid - a match they ultimately lost.
Paris St. Germain were close to signing the Argentina international earlier this summer but were unable to complete a deal due to Financial Fair Play rules.
Diego Simeone, the Atletico manager, stirred the pot last week by saying: "Di Maria is Madrid's best player for sure. His ability to unbalance games helps everyone else to play well.”
United boss van Gaal, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly desperate to add to his squad after the opening day defeat to Swansea City.
Marcos Rojo's arrival, while an important step in the right direction, won't be enough to appease the Old Trafford faithful alone.