Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/20/13
Angel di Maria had planned on staying at Real Madrid for the long haul, but he might have to start packing his things. Real Madrid is shopping the Argentine winger around Europe because it intends to sell him in the summer as part of a squad reconstruction project, according to the Mirror. “The former Benfica and Rosario Central wideman was one of Europe’s most coveted talents while with the Lisbon club, but with likely upheaval at the Bernabeu this summer — including the possible departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho — he may join the queue for the exit door,” the report says. “The deal that took Di Maria to Madrid was worth up to £30 million [$45.9 million] including incentives, and Madrid President Florentino Perez would be hoping to receive a fee near that amount for a regular in the Argentina team and a player contracted until 2018. “The player’s representative is renown ‘superagent’ Jorge Mendes, who has strong links to both Chelsea and the Old Trafford club.” Di Maria joined Real Madrid from Benfica in the summer of 2010, and the Spanish club rewarded him for his promising start to life at the Bernabeau with a new contract early last August. But discord with Mourinho and Ronaldo thrust the club into turmoil at the end of that month, and Real Madrid has yet to fully recover. Like the team itself, Di Maria has struggled to build on last season’s success. In December, Perez reportedly made the decision to fire Mourinho this summer. This week, the club president reportedly decided to sell Ronaldo after the 2012-13 season. The prospect of signing Di Maria will certainly interest a few of Europe’s top clubs, so it’s likely that the 25-year-old will follow the aforementioned duo out the exit door. It’s unknown how much interest di Maria has in leaving Real Madrid. After he signed his contract, he spoke of wanting to stay at the club for many years, but Mourinho’s impending exit could cause him to rethink his future. The Portuguese manager is one of his biggest supporters at the club, and his departure could consign di Maria to life on the fringes of the first team. Recent history has also showed that if Real Madrid wants to sell a player and he does not want to leave, it will pressure that player into changing his mind and moving to a new club. Rumors have linked Di Maria with PSG, Manchester United and Inter Milan in recent months. The Mirror cites Mendes’ connections with Chelsea as reason to believe the Premier League club will join the race to sign the Argentina international. Real Madrid reportedly intends to launch transfer bids for Gareth Bale, David Silva, Isco among other players. Selling Ronaldo and di Maria in the summer should raise enough money to fund the club’s wildest transfer dreams. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag. Photo via Facebook/Angel di Maria
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