Di Maria confident of keeping Bale out of Real Madrid line-up

The Argentina international revealed that he opted to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu despite the arrival of the Welshman after Carlo Ancelotti assured him he would get his chance
Angel Di Maria is confident he can keep Gareth Bale out of the Real Madrid starting line-up after electing to fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Arsenal made a £26.5 million move for Di Maria after becoming aware that los Blancos were open to a sale, only for the Argentine to reject a move after being assured there was a place for him by manager Carlo Ancelotti.

The winger also revealed that a chat with Paris Saint-Germain attacker and Celeste team-mate Ezequiel Lavezzi helped convinced him to stay, while he believes he has an advantage over Bale because the Welshman did not train during protracted negotiations over his world record £86 million transfer.

"I decided to stay, despite the players that were coming to the club," Di Maria told Rock and Pop radio.

"I knew that I was going through a good period and that I had the skills to play here. I talked to Pocho [Lavezzi] and he asked me: 'Do you really want to leave there?'

"Coach Carlo Ancelotti told me that whoever is better will play. I think that Bale wasn't training in Tottenham so I guess I have a head start."

The former Benfica star also discussed Gonzalo Higuain's decision to leave Madrid for Napoli and stated that the media's treatment of the prolific hitman played a role in his summer transfer.

"Higuain had to stand a lot of things," he added. "Many times the media would criticise him badly. That might have influenced his decision to leave Real Madrid."