Manchester City plotted a shock swoop for Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria before signing Raheem Sterling from Liverpool, Telegraph has claimed.
The Etihad club completed the transfer of 20-year-old England international in a £49 million deal on Tuesday afternoon after having their first two bids worth £30 and £40 respectively turned down by the Merseyside club.
However, according to Telegraph, Sterling was not necessarily the first-choice target for the Citizens and they also inquired about the availability of Di Maria last week.
The former Premier League Champions have a strong Argentine presence in their line-up in Martin Demichelis, Sergio Aguero, and Pablo Zabaleta.
Di Maria endured a difficult breakthrough Premier season following his club record £59.7 million move from Real Madrid and managed just three goals in 27 appearances.
The British outlet has also claimed that the Argentina international is not happy in England and has made up his mind to leave the country this summer.
Despite having a disappointing breakthrough season, Di Maria has attracted interest from a host of top European clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Bayern Munich.
PSG earlier this week launched an initial £40m bid for the winger but United have reportedly told them to lodge an improved offer.
The Argentine is not the part United’s ongoing pre-season tour of United States as he is recovering from a hamstring injury he sustained during the Copa America earlier this month.
On Thursday, when asked about Di Maria’s future at Old Trafford, United boss Louis Van Gaal said he is not sure about that.
“We shall see,” the Dutchman told reporters in Seattle. “In football, it is a process, as I have said many times before in press conferences. It’s not clear in one day.”
“It’s a process for Angel di Maria, it’s a process for Manchester United and we shall see. But he is still a member of Manchester United.”