Angel Di Maria is currently one of the most sought-after players in the transfer market after running down his contract at Paris Saint-Germain this past season.
The Argentine international is available as a free agent this summer, which has alerted a host of clubs across Europe. Barcelona were among the clubs keen on the veteran forward earlier in the summer, but their interest seems to have faded lately.
According to reputed journalist Gerard Romero, Barcelona have pulled the plug on their pursuit of Di Maria, majorly thanks to club president Joan Laporta.
Barça coach Xavi Hernandez was a huge fan of the Argentine. He had requested the board to sign him on a free transfer in the summer, as part of his plans to bolster the options in the attacking department.
However, Joan Laporta strictly opposed the deal and pulled the plug on the transfer. The club president was not in favour of Di Maria, a former Real Madrid star, joining Barcelona this summer, especially at the twilight of his career.
In addition to Di Maria’s historical ties with Real Madrid, the veteran forward was demanding a hefty €9 million per season salary. Although it is relatively less than other star players at his age, it still would have gravely affected Barça’s wage structure.
It might have been a massive gamble, especially at a time when Barcelona are looking to sign another ageing star player in the form of Robert Lewandowski.
Hence, Laporta opted not to go through with Xavi’s interest in Di Maria. And with a move to Catalonia ruled out, it appears the former PSG superstar is now on the verge of a move to Juventus, after holding fresh talks with the Italian giants this week.