City leading race to land Di Maria
The Argentine starlet was high on Chelsea’s wish list but the £36 million price-tag has dispelled interest from Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who are unwilling to pay more than £15 million.
Di Maria has been tipped to move to the Premier League during the January transfer window and it appears City, as a result, are now in pole position to capture the youngster.
However, it is believed Mark Hughes’s men will swoop for the 21-year-old in the summer, when they plan to sell Robinho.
The Brazilian has been frequently linked with a move back to La Liga and appears destined to join Barcelona.
Benfica would prefer the transfer to be completed in January, though, as the Eagles are already lining up Atletico Madrid’s Simao as a replacement.
The Portuguese giants are also keen to ensure a lower release clause fee is not activated in Di Maria’s contract at the end of the season.