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di Maria linked again

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Seemingly a story that isn't going away anytime soon, and The Telegraph suggests we are clear favourites to land the Benfica winger:

It is understood that Manchester City are keen to complete a deal next summer, when it is likely that they will move on Robinho, probably to Barcelona, but Di María's club, Benfica, are hoping to complete the transfer in January.

They have approached Atlético Madrid in a bid to sign Portuguese international Simao Sabrosa and want to try to push that deal through as soon as possible and before a lower buy-out clause in Di María's contract kicks in at the end of this season.

It is interesting that the suggestion is Benfica are trying to push through a deal in January to squeeze out the maximum fee they can.

I know that last January we paid a higher fee for Nigel de Jong than we perhaps might have done but however much potential he has, £36 million is a lot of money to pay. Unlike de Jong, di Maria is also unlikely to instantly become a key part of the side, meaning the necessity to overpay is not there.

More likely we go back for him in the summer, perhaps - as the article suggests - Robinho's more long term future may be a lot clearer.