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Angel Di Maria moves to Manchester United, breaks British transfer record

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Man U have broken the British transfer record to sign Di Maria from Real Madrid.

Denis Doyle

Manchester United have made a move for a star, signing Argentina international Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid. The fee is reported as an initial £59.7m, which is a record for a fee paid by a British club.

Di Maria joined Madrid from Benfica in 2010 and had a successful first season at the club, but he was in and out of the first team for most of his run at the Bernabeu. Last season, he became a key component of Carlo Ancelotti's La Decima-winning side, slowly winning the role of the most advanced central midfielder in a trio with Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric.

At the World Cup, Di Maria was a key player for Argentina before picking up an injury. He was unable to play in the final, and the Albiceleste struggled without him.

For United, Di Maria's most valuable asset is likely to be his versatility. His "true" position, if he has one, is as a left-sided shuttling central midfielder. He's played left and right wing in a variety of formations, though, and has also been used as a traditional central midfielder and at left wingback. If Louis Van Gaal is going to continue using a 3-4-1-2 formation, Di Maria's role is not obvious. He could play in any of three different positions, though he's not an ideal fit for any.

Ultimately, it's going to take some time to figure out whether or not this is a good purchase for United. He will instantly become one of the team's best players, but he doesn't fix any of their long-standing problems in the center of midfield or defense.