Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has been linked with a move for one of his former stars this week…
According to L’Equipe, Spurs have made contact with Paris Saint-Germain attacker Angel Di Maria over a potential switch to north London as he’s out of contract at the end of the season.
It’s claimed that the Ligue 1 champions, now managed by ex-Tottenham favourite Mauricio Pochettino, remain hopeful of securing him to an extension, but Mourinho would like to reunite with his former Real Madrid star if possible.
Di Maria is thought to have rejected PSG’s latest contract offer at the end of 2020 as it reduced his current £220k-per-week terms.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will have a major call to make in the summer as there’s a possibility that he could keep hold of Gareth Bale for the foreseeable future as there’s seemingly no way back for him in Spain.
His agent, Jonathan Barrett, didn’t rule out staying beyond the season-long loan, he told talkSPORT (via Sky Sports):
“Yeah, there are lots of opportunities; it’s up to him. The most important thing is for him to enjoy his football and that he’s playing well. As long as that’s happening, it’ll all be fine.”
Whilst football.london claim there is an option to keep him longer.
Well, things have hardly gone to plan so far this campaign as the Welshman has featured for 713 minutes, which includes only one start in the Premier League, per Transfermarkt.
Considering Spurs are paying 40% of his £600k-per-week wages (around £240k-per-week), and would have to either do the same again next season or at least force his contract to end a year early, it could be a financial nightmare.
If Di Maria is available for free in the summer, and on similar, if not reduced wages – as mentioned above – then it’s a no-brainer to bring the Argentinian in instead.
He’s a player that Mourinho knows greatly having managed him for two seasons at the Bernabeu.
Indeed the 32-year-old winger has lauded the Portguese’s impact in the past, he told Dario Ole (via Goal): “Mourinho made me a better player. He showed me many things and made me grow as a footballer.”
Unlike Bale, the PSG star has featured regularly despite his advancing years.
This term, he’s bagged four goals and provided eight assists having featured for a total of 1551 minutes, via WhoScored – over double the time we’ve seen the 31-year-old Bale in a Spurs shirt.
Even over the past two campaigns, Di Maria has shown he can still cut it at an elite level, averaging at least 2.7 key passes per game in back-to-back league campaigns as well as at least 2.4 shots and 1.6 dribbles per game, vis WhoScored.
This merely emphasises his creative nature and the ability to still get past the opposition’s defence to either create chances or provide for himself.
Marco Verratti also believes he’s an “extraordinary player” who’s similar to Arjen Robben. “They’re very important players in modern football because one-on-one they’re incredible, very generous on the pitch, who provide you with 15 or 20 assists every year, very altruistic and give everything for the team,” added the Italian.
Whilst Di Maria was helping PSG qualify for the Champions League final, Bale was largely sat on the bench at Madrid and as he’s yet to prove his worth back in a Spurs shirt, Levy absolutely must consider a move for Di Maria instead if he has a choice between the two.
Landing the £25.2m-rated veteran on a free transfer could be an absolute bargain move.
AND in other news, “talismanic” £20m monster can be Spurs’ dream Harry Kane heir…