Inside Angel Di Maria’s failed spell at Man Utd – the ‘worst’ Prem move ever

On Angel Di Maria's first return to Old Trafford, almost four years after he had left in acrimonious fashion he was keen to leave a lasting impression on Manchester United fans.

BT Sport cameras caught the superstar yelling 'f*** off' at the crowd after he provided two assists for PSG in the Last 16 of the Champions League. Minutes later, cameras caught Di Maria pretending to drink a beer as he continued to play the pantomime villain.

But how did Di Maria and United end on such bitter terms? Daily Star Sport looks at Di Maria's eventual sole campaign in North West England.

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Di Maria arrived in Manchester fresh off the back of a successful World Cup with Argentina in 2014 – although his role was limited due to an injury sustained in Brazil.

It was a time of change in Manchester, too, Louis van Gaal was the second manager at the helm of United in the post-Fergie era. And a slew of signings from the Dutchman had quickly banished memories of David Moyes.

The last signing of the window, for a then British record, was Di Maria.

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It was a hot and cold start for the Argentine, on the pitch he was electric.

But it didn't take long for Di Maria to rub United fans the wrong off it; he penned an open letter: "My cycle at Real Madrid has come to an end. It’s impossible to capture everything I’ve experienced here in a few lines but I hope this letter communicates what I feel at the moment.

"Unfortunately, I have to go, but I want to make clear that this was never my desire."

Di Maria made his United debut in a 0-0 draw with Burnley – four days after he had put pen-to-paper with United.

And that wasn't a bad result, given just hours after Di Maria had been announced as a Red Devil, United had been dumped out of the Carabao Cup by MK Dons. In a 4-0 drubbing, Will Grigg – yes, that Will Grigg – ran riot as he bagged a brace.

The Argentine bagged his first of three goals all season a couple of weeks later against QPR.

That was as good as it got for the Argentine in Manchester, as fans quickly began to turn against his lacklustre performances.

In truth, Van Gaal and Di Maria were not a match made in heaven. It was hardly Harry met Sally when Van Gaal first spotted Di Maria across a crowded rondo.

The Argentine was renowned for his quick direct approach, while Van Gaal preached patience and possession.

There were off-the-field factors too, in February, with Di Maria's on-pitch struggles at their peak, the Argentine and his family were subject to a terrifying robbery.

Di Maria had helped United to a 3-1 win over Leicester when he settled down for dinner with his family – only as robbers smashed a window but fled when an alarm sounded. Wayne Rooney later said: "I remember that really shook him and his family.

"From then on, really, you knew it was going to be tough for him and it was probably better for him to leave."

Just 12 months on from being handed the famous No.7 shirt – that had been donned by United greats – his spell ended in a whimper.

Di Maria refused to board a pre-season flight to the USA, and PSG swooped in. If United thought they had seen the back of him, they were sorely mistaken and Marcin Bulka said Di Maria has "no good memory of the time he spent there."

The transfer that promised so much, and delivered so little, is regularly ranked as the worst Premier League transfer in history.


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