Di Maria slams Monaco rumours
Angel Di Maria says persistent media stories linking him with a January move to Monaco and questioning his commitment to Real Madrid are "lies"
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The Spanish press has been recently running regular pieces claiming the Argentina winger is fed up with having lost his starting place to summer signing Gareth Bale and is keen to join the big-spending Ligue 1 club.
Some observers believe the coverage is a sign that Blancos president Florentino Perez is keen to accept Monaco's reported offer of 35 million euros, while others have suggested the continued speculation is an attempt by Di Maria’s agent Jorge Mendes to force a pay-rise out of Madrid.
After providing a superb solo goal and assist in Madrid’s 3-2 La Liga win at Valencia on Sunday, the former Benfica player told AS that he had no intention of leaving the club and was disappointed with all the speculation.
“I do not want to go,” Di Maria said. “I want to win my place in the team. Not me, nor anyone in my camp, has asked for a new contract. What came out was lies. I have been through some difficult days. I am just thinking about Real Madrid and I am still working hard. I have to keep going and try to earn a place in the team.”
Di Maria went on to claim that a recently adopted goal celebration -- where he points to his own name on the back of his shirt -- was not a message to Perez.
“The goal celebration is nothing to do with the president,” he said. “I do it because I keep fighting for my place.”
However, he did tell reporters in the Mestalla mixed zone that he knew the club had tried to offload him last summer ahead of Bale’s arrival from Tottenham.
“In the summer they wanted to get rid of me the whole time,” he said. “I knew a 100 million euro player was coming, and it was normal that he would play.”
In the end it was Mesut Ozil who left the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for Arsenal. Di Maria said his performances since then have proven his worth to Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.
“The coach knows I want to stay,” he said. “The coach has me in mind because when there is a space in the team, I start. I have to keep doing things well in these matches and in training.”