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Arturo Vidal – the rumour that never stops, but is there smoke without fire?

Manchester United have been linked with Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal for most of the summer. Granted the midfielder would be a great addition to the Old Trafford club and it would certainly shore up the midfield giving the club the best midfield since Roy Keane left the club nearly 10 year ago. United have struggled in the midfield area in recent seasons, ever since Paul Scholes retired for the second time, creativity has been a problem. The addition of Ander Herrera will go some way to giving United the midfield the supporters long for, but another midfielder is what the clubs supporters want and that is Arturo Vidal.

For weeks the Chilean, Italian and English press have been speculating about this transfer, suggesting that the deal has been done, a bid has been made and that United were interested but no bid has been placed. Contradictory or what. Is there smoke without fire in this transfer saga or is it the press doing what they do best – making money? A few weeks ago when Vidal was back in Chile on holiday, it was understandable that news sources over there were covering the news of the player, who at the time had been constantly linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer.

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, who was unveiled by Juventus today, having left the Old Trafford club, was purported to be part of the deal with Vidal coming the other way, that was not the case. It is easy to get carried away with transfer talk, but one transfer in the summer of 2010 changed the way I view rumours, that was the Sneijder saga, something that continued to run in every transfer window ever since, and has reared its ugly head this summer, although not in a widespread way as it had done. Sneijder was coming to Old Trafford, or so the press and ITK Twitter accounts alluded to anyway, but nothing materialised. This saga feels the same for me.

There has been smoke. In the past few weeks, Vidal did talk to Chilevision whilst he was on holiday suggesting that he was calm and that he would sort out whatever happens when he gets back to Italy. Then came the quotes suggesting that he would still be happy at Juventus even if the offer from United fell through. The Chilean midfielder has been back with his club this week and reports suggested that the player or his agent would tell Juventus that he wanted to leave the club. Nothing has been confirmed either way, so suggestions of this could be fabrication.

Over the last few days, Juventus managing director Guiseppe Marotta has poured cold water on the speculation linking the clubs start player with an exit out of the club. Sky Sports, covering reports from Sky Sports Italia claimed Marotta said:

“We recently renewed his contract because we knew that we could count on an important element.

“Transfer gossip is normal on one of the best players in circulation. We have never activated a plan to sell the player.

“In football you can never say, but if the player wants to stay we will be happy to keep him.”

Marotta also confirmed that they will complete the signing of Rômulo from Hellas Verona over the coming days, which added to Roberto Pereyra, who Juventus have signed on loan from Udinese with a view to a permanent deal, it looks like the club could be pretty well stocked with midfielders, although these are not exactly in the same position as Vidal, the likes of Paul Pogba, Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo can all fill the void left by the Chilean, should he leave the club of course.

One thought I have – are Juventus making these public statements to show their supporters that they are doing all the can to keep the player? It is apparent that when players want to leave Italian clubs, they ask for a transfer, which shows the supporters that it is not the doing of the club, leaving them in the clear. It would then be the player that gets all the anger from the clubs supporters directed at him, which does not sound too good, but being a long way from Turin, in Manchester, would it really be something to worry about?

I still hold many reservations as to whether this transfer would or even could happen. There is no smoke without fire, which is something many say all of the time, especially during transfer windows. Mark Ogden of the Telegraph was speaking to talkSPORT the other day suggesting that there was something going on:

“The word from Manchester United is contradictory, and it has been for a few days. The message we have been getting is not to take any notice of the reports because it’s not happening.

“The noises coming out of Chile and Italy are so strong though that something may be going on behind the scenes.

“We’ve been told there is no direct contact with Juventus. Obviously that doesn’t mean there can’t be contact with associated parties. It seems to be a story that won’t go away.”

Chilean news source La Tercera once again are reporting on the ongoing saga linking Arturo Vidal with a move to Old Trafford. The suggest that the player’s agent Fernando Felicevich met with Juventus managing director Guiseppe Marotta on Wednesday and presented the club with an $80 million (just over £47 million) offer. The Chilean news source also claim that Vidal and Manchester United have already agreed a salary of $340,000 per week (around £200,000 per week). They go on to say that Louis van Gaal has pushed United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward into hurrying the deal through as Paris St Germain have shown interest over the past few days, whether that is true or not remains to be seen. La Tercera also talk about the number seven shirt being allocated for Vidal, which they say comes from the press here in England.

This whole saga has annoyed many as it is always Manchester United transfer business that ends up developing into a saga. Over the years there have been many, most of which you could only get news from the national and local newspapers and Ceefax or Teletext, which shows you how old I am, or at least gives you a clue. Some of you younger supporters do not know you are born with the information obtainable at the drop of a hat on the internet. The modern age has made these transfer saga’s develop into something more though. There seems to be many ‘experts’ on Twitter. You know the kind, social drop-outs with no futures or the children currently on break from the school year. They cite sources they just do not have. Some seem to be on the ball, others need to go back to school and even more still are more clueless than ever. It seems attention seeking has gone to a new level. Enjoy the rest of the transfer window, bring on the football. Little over two weeks until kick off. Can’t wait…

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