Louis van Gaal tight-lipped over PSG target Di Maria
Angel DI MARIA will report for duty with Manchester United in California today despite Paris Saint-Germain intensifying their efforts to sign the Argentinian.
Di Maria, who was given an extended three-week summer break due to his participation in the Copa America, is scheduled to land in San Jose this morning with team-mates Marcos Rojo and Javier Hernandez, prior to United's International Champions Cup encounter with Barcelona at the $1bn Levi's Stadium, the 68,500-capacity home of the San Francisco 49ers.
French champions PSG remain determined to sign the 27-year-old, with the Qatari-owned club prepared to pay £45m for a player who cost United a British-record £59.7m when they signed him from Real Madrid last August.
However, with no deal in place, Van Gaal insisted that Di Maria will arrive in the States with Rojo and Hernandez.
"I expect him here because we have communicated that and they have responded on that," Van Gaal said.
When asked whether United had communicated that message to Di Maria or PSG, Van Gaal refused to discuss the possibility of the player being sold.
After United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward returned to the States on Thursday, it is anticipated that face-to-face talks with PSG will take place in Chicago next week, if a deal for Di Maria has not been concluded by then, ahead of a friendly between the two clubs at Soldier Field.
David de Gea, whose Old Trafford future remains uncertain due to interest from Real Madrid, will play against Barcelona after missing the first two tour games, against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes, with a minor back problem.
With United's Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur just two weeks away, Van Gaal will name his strongest available team to play for an hour against Barcelona at Levi's Stadium.
However, Bastian Schweinsteiger, the summer signing from Bayern Munich, will miss out with a slight muscle strain.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has concerns over the financial might of the Premier League and United's renaissance under Louis van Gaal.
But, while English football may be swimming in television money, and United's unique commercial power due to be underlined next month by the start of their world-record £750m kit deal with Adidas, they will never be strong enough to wrestle Lionel Messi from Catalonia.
"Barcelona's income this year has increased to more than €6,000m, which is a record and no other club in the world has as big an income." (© Daily Telegraph, London)