Real Madrid rule out Di Maria sale – for now at least

The Spanish side have closed their investigation into the forward’s groin-grabbing gesture and will keep faith in the Argentine for the remainder of the current campaign

Real Madrid have ruled out selling Angel Di Maria in January after closing their investigation into the Argentine’s alleged groin-grabbing gesture in the 3-0 win over Celta Vigo on Monday.

Madrid were willing to cash in on Di Maria in the summer, but the player impressed incoming coach Carlo Ancelotti and Mesut Ozil was surprisingly sold instead to raise money for the world-record transfer of Gareth Bale.

However, the winger’s body language in December highlighted his frustration at being on the bench and things came to a head on Monday as the 25-year-old was booed by Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabeu and appeared to respond by grabbing his groin as he left the pitch to be replaced by Bale.

The former Benfica man later denied any gesture, but was forced by Madrid to make an official apology and the club opened an investigation into his behaviour.

“There was nothing aimed at the crowd or the coach, as people were saying,” Di Maria said. “It was a normal movement for any man, especially when you are running. It’s something you do often on the pitch, it was something natural.

“If anyone was offended by what I did, then I ask for forgiveness, but it wasn’t aimed at anybody.”

And after an internal investigaion, Madrid arrived at the same conclusion.

“It cannot be deemed that Di Maria was responsible for any gestures or for a lack of respect towards the crowd and, therefore, he did not commit any type offence worthy of a sanction,” a club statement read on Thursday, adding: “The club’s management committee has therefore decided to close the case.”

Ancelotti said on Wednesday: “We have to believe Di Maria. Even if anyone thinks it was an ugly gesture, he has apologised. So, the matter ends here.”

Despite bringing their investigation to an end, Madrid will continue to monitor the winger’s behaviour and although the Italian coach remains a fan, the Argentine could find himself surplus to requirements in the summer if Bale and youngster Jese continue to impress.

Di Maria started on the bench for Madrid’s Copa del Rey clash at home to Osasuna on Thursday.

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