Arsenal target Angel di Maria: It hurt to be linked to Spurs!

Real Madrid superstar - also wanted by Manchester United & Manchester City - distraught that he was transfer linked to Tottenham Hotspur last summer.

Real Madrid attacker Angel di Maria, 26, is perpetually linked with a Santiago Bernabeu exit.

The versatile forward, competent in a number of positions including centre mid and high up on the flanks, has enjoyed his most productive season to date having returned 17 assists and four goals from 27 La Liga starts and five assists and three goals from nine Champions League starts.

Currently linked to a hat-trick of Premier League clubs including Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United (all Daily Star), di Maria has indicated that out of all the media speculation, it was a Tottenham Hotspur story from last year that "hurt" the most.

Speaking to Marca, the Argentine - who is expected to play a starring role for his country in the upcoming FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil - said: "It hurts when you’re always doing your best for your club and then you hear that you might be going to Tottenham.

"I spoke with the manager last summer. I wanted to stay and he wanted me to stay as well. He told me that he counted on me and it was up to me from then on."

di Maria has developed under current Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti, culminating in a man of the match performance in the successful Champions League final against local rivals Atletico Madrid.

Such is di Maria's sentiment for Ancelotti, he may well be loathe to move in the summer, despite rampant interest from England.

"I have grown a lot under Ancelotti. He got the best out of me. Things have gone well and I made the right decision to stay."

He continued: "I know that there are clubs that want to sign me… [but] I will stay if the club wants me to stay."

di Maria has a valuation of £30m and would be one of the most coveted players should he be made available in the summer market. He concluded: "We will see whether Madrid want me to stay or leave.

"I am happy at Madrid. I had a great season and always had everybody’s support. But sometimes you don’t have a choice, even when you want to stay yourself."

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