Manchester United have smashed the British transfer record to sign Angel di Maria from Real Madrid. United confirmed the signing of the Argentina winger on Tuesday after he completed a medical. United have paid £59.7m for the former Benfica player, who has signed a five-year contract with his new club.
The fee eclipses the previous British transfer record of £50m, which Chelsea paid for Fernando Torres in 2011. It also exceeds the £37.1m sum United paid for Juan Mata in January.
Di Maria said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester United. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Spain and there were a lot of clubs interested in me, but United is the only club that I would have left Real Madrid for.
“Louis van Gaal is a fantastic coach with a proven track record of success and I am impressed by the vision and determination everyone has to get this club back to the top – where it belongs. I now just cannot wait to get started.”
The 26-year-old, who cost Real around £28m when they signed him from Benfica in 2010, is regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. His signing is a statement of intent from new manager Van Gaal too.
“Angel is a world-class midfielder but most importantly he is a team player. There is no doubting his immense natural talent,” he said.
“He is a tremendously fast and incisive left-footed player who puts fear into the most accomplished defence. His dribbling skills and his ability to take on and beat opponents are a joy to watch. He is an excellent addition to the team.”
The Argentinian won the man of the match award for his role in Real Madrid’s victory over Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final last season. He also made the most assists (17) in Spain’s La Liga last season.