PSG want Di Maria… but it's complicated, says Blanc

The winger’s agent has travelled to France to discuss a move with the Ligue 1 champions, but the club’s manager expects other suitors to be interested

Paris Saint-Germain’s proposed move for Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria is “complicated”, according to the Ligue 1 side’s manager Laurent Blanc.

Di Maria endured a difficult first campaign in English football after moving from Real Madrid last summer for a British-record €86 million fee, with PSG keen to offer him a route out of Old Trafford this summer.

Goal revealed on Tuesday that the Argentina international’s agent Jorge Mendes had travelled to France for talks with PSG, but Blanc has now admitted that wrapping up a deal will not be easy.

“We are talking about a rather complicated deal,” the former Red Devils defender told L’Equipe. 

“If United really have the intention of selling Di Maria, Paris Saint-Germain will not be the only interested team.

“Other big teams will also try to bring him in to strengthen their squad, so there is always the risk of a bidding war.”

Di Maria started only 20 games in the Premier League last term, with Ashley Young’s excellent form keeping him out of the team in the last few months of the season.

Mourinho: Chelsea will improve rejected Stones bid

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed the club have made Everton an offer for John Stones and will continue to chase the defender unless told he is not for sale.

Reports suggested that the Premier League champions made a bid – thought to be in the region of £20million – for Stones on Thursday that was rejected.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez issued a hands-off warning to Chelsea following his side’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal in the Asia Trophy final on Saturday, but Mourinho appears to have taken little notice of the Spaniard’s words.

“We made a bid, we can make it – it’s an open market until September 1,” he said.

“At the moment they say we don’t accept this bid – they don’t say: ‘We don’t accept bids; any bids’.

“While they say we don’t accept this bid, until September 1 we can improve the bid, one pound more, 10 pounds more, we can improve the bid.

“If one day Roberto Martinez or the chairman come and say he’s not for sale, we don’t accept any bid, it’s game over.

“So during this process, it’s clear, we don’t deny we made a bid for Stones. It means we are trying to buy.”

More to follow…

Vidal can replace Schweinsteiger – Matthaus

The former Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder has praised the Chile star’s character as he prepares to join the Bavarians from Juventus

Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus feels Arturo Vidal shares the same strength of personality as Oliver Kahn and Stefan Effenberg and believes he would be a fine replacement for Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Vidal is set to join Bayern from Juventus in a €40 million deal as the club move swiftly to replace Schweinsteiger following his transfer to Manchester United.

The Chile star has blossomed into one of the best midfielders in the world since joining Juve from Bayer Leverkusen and Matthaus is a fan of his combative style.

“He would be a great addition for Bayern because he is the perfect example of a player who moves between defence and attack. Bayern do not have a player like that yet,” he told La Tercera.

“Vidal would be a great signing. If he arrives at Bayern, that would ease some of the pain from Schweinsteiger’s departure.

“His character is very similar to that of Kahn and Effenberg. He’s one of the best midfielders in the world and is a player with many qualities.

“He’s great in recovering the ball and in the transition from defence to attack. He’s also an aggressive leader.”

Another Bayern and Germany icon, Sepp Maier, also offered a glowing endorsement of Vidal and believes he is a perfect fit for Pep Guardiola’s style of football.

“Vidal fits well in the Guardiola system. His way of playing football is very similar to Schweinsteiger. I hope he fills the space that Bastian has left. 

“From a sporting point of view Vidal can replace him, but it’s very difficult to replace a person who has spent 17 years at the club.”

Roberts in talks to join Manchester City, confirms Symons

The highly-rated 18-year-old appears set to move to the Etihad Stadium after the two clubs agreed a reported fee of £5 million, which could rise to as much as £11m

Fulham boss Kit Symons has confirmed highly-rated winger Patrick Roberts is in talks to sign for Manchester City.

Goal reported in June that the Etihad Stadium outfit were keen to add the 18-year-old to their squad as they looked to beat Liverpool and Manchester United to his signature.

And the two clubs have now agreed a reported fee of £5 million – which could rise to as much as £11m with add-ons- after Roberts handed in a transfer request at Craven Cottage.

“It’s progressing, it’s fair to say,” Symons told BBC Sport. “He’s in serious talks with them so we’ll have to wait and see.

“He’s handed in a transfer request and he’s only got one year left on his contract.

“We want to keep all of our best players and build for the future but there comes a point where you have to do the right thing for the football club. If it is £11m it’ll be nice to get.

“It’ll be a shame to lose one of our bright young talents but I need to have people who are committed and want to play for the club.

“He could sign a pre-contract agreement abroad in January and walk away for next to nothing. We’re mindful of that and we’ve had numerous discussions with the chairman about it.

“I sat down with Pat and his parents and we told him how much we valued him and wanted him at the football club but they’ve made their minds up that this is what they wanted to do.”

Roberts would become City’s third major signing of the summer transfer window after they completed deals for Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph earlier this week.

Symons, meanwhile, has rejected claims Scott Parker could also be leaving the Championship club for Bournemouth, saying: “That’s just speculation. We’ve certainly heard nothing about that.”

Martinez slams Chelsea's Stones pursuit

The Premier League champions are readying a second bid for the England international but the Everton manager insists that his player will remain at Goodison Park

Roberto Martinez has slammed Chelsea’s attempts to unsettle England defender John Stones and insists the player will not be leaving Everton this summer.

Goal understands the 21-year-old is keen to join the Premier League champions, who are preparing a £28 million offer having seen an initial bid of £20m rejected earlier this week.

Stones completed 90 minutes as Everton were comprehensively beaten 3-1 by Arsenal in the final of the Asia Trophy on Saturday and Toffees boss Martinez is adamant his young centre-half will remain at Goodison Park. 

He said: “One thing is clear, that we pride ourselves in playing a certain way and educating our young players in a manner in which they will always attract attention from elsewhere and that is a footballing compliment.

“The other side is that another football club is making a statement in the press so openly I don’t think that is the way we would do it at Everton.

“We would not speak about a player that is at another club and there is no issue from our point of view: John Stones is an Everton player full stop.

He added: “We are working to fulfil our potential. The last few years we have been very brave in giving young players opportunities to develop and we will carry on doing that.

“We want to be strong and as competitive as we can. That is the only focus I have today. We are not a club who need to be worried about what other clubs put through the press.”