After a difficult debut season in the Premier League, Angel Di Maria has insisted he has no plans whatsoever to leave Manchester United this summer - despite Spanish publication Sport suggesting that Barcelona are interested in returning the former Real Madrid man to La Liga.
The 27-year-old arrived at Old Trafford as the club's record signing with a fee of £59.7m - per the BBC - hanging around his neck and was expected to turn the club around after a dismal year under former manager David Moyes. Prior to leaving Madrid, Di Maria played a key part in winning La Decima and helped to guide Argentina to the World Cup final in Brazil against Germany.
However, through injury, Di Maria did not feature in the final, which Argentina lost 1-0 thanks to a goal scored by Bayern Munich's Mario Gotze.
At Manchester United playing time became limited once Di Maria stopped performing, following a promising start, but the former Real Madrid midfielder insists he is not one for knee jerk reactions and will deal with things himself over time. He not only struggled with form, but fitness also.
When asked in an interview with Argentinian newspaper Ole if he will leave Manchester United in the coming months, Di Maria immediately dismissed any suggestion that he will be walking away from a challenge at Old Trafford.
“No, because I’m not thinking like that," said Di Maria.
"In Madrid there were times when I was whistled around the stadium but faced it and then it turned around. I like to deal with things.”
Di Maria did not deny that his first season in England didn't go to plan. He responded with honesty when pressed on the subject of starting his United career well but then finding game time limited.
“Yes. For me, and my family. Because not everything goes as I want, because I don’t play,” he added.
“Because I came with an intention and end up on the bench. It’s hard to tell how I feel there. I started well, with goals and assists. I was having a good time, until I was out. It’s a little hard to explain why I do not play.”
In February, Di María and his family were the victims of an attempted burglary at his Cheshire home. Incidents like that make settling in a new country difficult but the Argentina international sounds determined to set things right and improve as a footballer at Manchester United.
Does Angel Di Maria deserve more game time?
Judging by his form throughout the second half of the season, no, absolutely not. Nobody deserves to walk into any team, especially when they're completely out of form. Not many managers would drop a player that cost so much in their first season at the club, so Louis van Gaal deserves credit for stamping his authority.
On his day, Di Maria is unplayable. He is among the best in the world. Last season, however, he was nowhere near that level and unless there is a vast improvement in the upcoming campaign, Van Gaal may have to cash in.