Angel Di Maria has revealed how a phone conversation with Laurent Blanc convinced him to leave Manchester United and join Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. The Argentine international moved to Old Trafford from Real Madrid for a British record transfer fee of £59.7m ($90.5m) in 2014.
After spending a year in the Premier League, the former Benfica man decided to end his time in England and moved to Ligue 1. The 27-year-old has scored seven goals and registered nine assists in all competitions since joining the French champions.
Di Maria admitted he was happy when he spoke to the PSG manager for the first time. The attacker also went on to reveal that Blanc was his admirer and he was keen on securing his signature for the last few seasons, which was an incentive for him to move to Parc des Princes.
"The first time we spoke, it was before I signed for PSG. This made me very happy," Di Maria told BeIN sports, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"It happened the same way when [Jose] Mourinho made me come to Real Madrid. They called me before and I spoke with them. Blanc called me when he was in the United States and I was still on holiday.
"He said he was very happy to recruit me, that he had wanted me for several seasons. Obviously, this gave me an added incentive to sign for PSG."
Meanwhile, Blanc's side will face Chelsea in the Champions League round of 16 and it is for the third consecutive season the two teams are facing each other in the competition. PSG's deputy sporting director Olivier Letang has warned the tie against the Blues will be difficult, but admitted the Ligue 1 outfit will be prepared to face the west London club.
"A good draw? We don't know if it is good until we play the games. We will play against a team that is strong and who won the Champions League in 2012, the Europa League in 2013," Goal.com quoted Letang as saying.
"Each time the matches have been very balanced in the last two years," "As our president said last night, the goal is to go very far in this competition. We will play against a big club, a great team, a great coach. We have two and a half months to prepare.
"We are two teams who know each other very well. It will be both exciting and difficult, but again, the objective is to go far in this competition."