The 26-year-old looks certain to complete his move from the European Champions to Old Trafford in the next 24 hours as United boss Louis van Gaal reshapes his squad.
Speculation is growing over the roles of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Juan Mata, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia in the United side should the versatile Argentina international seal his move.
But Curbishley reckons United should secure the deal before considering Di Maria’s role in the team.
Curbishley said: “Well, I think get him in the building first. Talking about perhaps there is Van Persie, Rooney and Mata, and they’re not all going to stay fit, but you want that competition, so get Di Maria in the building first.
“He’s versatile, he can play in various positions. He can play in a three up top, he can play in the middle of the park, he can even do a wing-back job if Van Gaal sticks to his three at the back.
“I think he would be more of an attacking wing-back, and perhaps let his man go.
“The problem with Man United at the moment is that when they are a back five they are a back five because I think Valencia and Ashley Young are really in line with the three centre-backs, so it’s not quite working, the system, but get him in the building along with one or two others and then I think we’ll see where Van Gaal goes.”
Fellow Sky Sports pundit Ray Parlour insists United have no option but to pay the market value for Di Maria, which is expected to be upwards of £64m.
And Parlour is confident Di Maria attributes will improve the current United team.
Parlour said: “At the end of the day Man United need players and these other clubs who they’re sniffing around and saying ‘we need players in from your club’, the price is always going to go up because they are desperate for players.
“But you look a Di Maria, he has got the good work rate in him, he’s got plenty of assists as well in La Liga, he’s a player that can score goals, but this is the going rate at the moment for these quality players.
“I’m sure he will bring a lot of quality to the team, but the system, it will be interesting to see what he does if he does come to Manchester United and see what he can bring to their side.”