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'Everyone would have loved to sign Di Maria'

ESPN staff
August 28, 2014 « Morning Bagel: US Open Day Four | Day 6: Maria Ho eliminated, 68 left »
Di Maria joins talent drain from La Liga

Pablo Zabaleta says Angel Di Maria will be a great signing for Manchester United and claims his Argentina team-mate is a talent who every club would have wanted.

Di Maria may not have wanted to leave Spain but he sealed his move from Real Madrid to United for a British record fee of £59.7 million on Tuesday.

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Fernando Torres has finally been overtaken as British football's most expensive signing © Getty Images
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And though Zabaleta plays for local rivals Manchester City, who were reportedly offered the winger, he says the 26-year-old represents excellent value for money.

He told the Manchester Evening News: "With Di Maria I have to say United have signed one of those players that every single club in the world would like to sign. He's a top player.

"He has been at Real Madrid and has won a lot of trophies - he's won the Champions League and has great experience there.

"He's a great player, he's fast, he's direct, sets up goals and can score them. They are spending a lot of money but he will be a great signing for them.

"He has signed for United - and of course I can't say I want United to win - but I wish him the best and I hope he can play well.

"We'll see where [United manager Louis] van Gaal is going to play him, where he fits into that system. I've seen him play in different positions, not just as a winger, so we'll see.

"I'll look forward to going up against him. We are friends, we'll always be friends off the field but not in that game."

Zabaleta and Di Maria were both members of the Argentina squad who reached this summer's World Cup final and there are a total of five Argentinians in the City squad.

Marcos Rojo, Van Gaal's other recent recruit, also went to the World Cup with the country and Zabaleta has been offering the United pair advice about their new surroundings. "All the Argentinians are taking over Manchester," he added.

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