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Barcelona might get a huge steal if they sign Angel Di Maria

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
FC Barcelona are determined to replace Neymar even if they have to look for an alternative plan. They could not sign Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele but are not going to give up. Based on recent reports, they are looking at Angel Di Maria.

Landing the Argentinian winger could be the best thing to happen to them this summer.

It has been a strange transfer window for FC Barcelona. Los Blaugranas have always been considered one of the top teams in the world, and are used to sign talent year after year. However, this year they found themselves at the opposite end of the spectrum and have lost Neymar to PSG after the Ligue 1 giants signed the Brazilian for a world-record €222 million fee.

This makes Barca one of the richest teams in the world when it comes to their transfer budget. But with roughly two weeks before the transfer window closes, they are yet to replace the Brazilian superstar. Barcelona have been linked with moves for Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele. However, both are unlikely to arrive given how the negotiations have happened.

With that in mind, Barcelona switched their effort to an alternative plan. Their new idea is to bring another midfielder, Jean-Michaël Seri, and sign Angel Di Maria. Let's remember the PSG winger spent a few years in Real Madrid before ultimately landing on French soil in 2015.
The idea makes a lot of sense, to be honest. First of all, Di Maria would be far cheaper than Coutinho or Dembele, as Barca would have had to spend nearly €150M to sign either the Liverpool or the Dortmund star. However, PSG is not going to ask for that kind of money for the Argentinian. Let's remember PSG need to offload several players before the transfer window shuts in order to comply with the Financial Fair Play rules. They have already sold Blaise Matuidi, and parting ways with Di Maria seems to be the most logical step.

The idea fits even better when you think about how Di Maria might fit in Ernesto Valverde's Barca for this season. We know Di Maria is quite used to play alongside Lionel Messi from their days in the Argentina National Team. And he would fit perfectly with what the manager wants. Just like Neymar, Di Maria is a left winger who can either win the byline or cut towards the box like an inside forward. And while he is not the goalscoring threat Neymar was, he can assist with the best of them. It's hard to imagine him not linking properly with Messi or Luis Suarez.

Let's be clear with one thing. Di Maria is no Neymar. But neither is Coutinho nor Dembele. And another plus for Di Maria is that he knows how to play in the Spanish Liga. He spent four years with Real Madrid, and registered 36 goals with 87 assists in 190 appearances for Los Blancos.

Replacing Neymar is something Barca simply might not be able to do. But if they decide to go for it, then the best thing they can do is to get a (relatively) cheap player in his prime and who knows how to play in La Liga. Di Maria checks all those boxes, and Barca could get quite a steal if they end up landing the 29-year-old winger before the transfer window shuts.
Juan Pablo Aravena

29-year-old sports analyst and journalist with over three years of experience in the industry. Writes about all kinds of sports from football to golf, but there is no question his biggest passion in life is football. Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Colo Colo fan.


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