Manchester United close in on Angel di María

Manchester United’s ability to deal directly with Real Madrid – rather than through third parties – is increasing hope that Ángel di María could be signed on Monday, with negotiations regarding the fee and player’s personal terms all “moving in the right direction”.

While there is still a sizeable amount of work to be done, cordial relations between the clubs make each side confident the 26-year-old will soon become a United player.

Real value Di María at £75m, while United believe £60m is a fairer fee. A source with knowledge of the deal told the Guardian the transfer should be a case of sooner rather than later.

When United signed Juan Mata for £37.1m in January the club did not negotiate directly with Chelsea. Third parties were involved, including the No10’s father.

While there are no plans yet for Di María to take a medical or fly to Manchester, this may change depending on how talks progress. United hope the deadline of noon on Friday to register Di María for Saturday’s trip to Burnley can be easily achieved.

The sense that Di Maria will become a United player imminently was added to by the club’s megastore displaying a sign on Monday apologising for having no letter Rs for fans wishing to have Di María’s name embossed on replica shirts.