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Chilean midfielder prefers United over Madrid – reports

Manchester United continue to be linked to Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal after the Chilean saw his side knocked out of the FIFA World Cup at the hands of hosts Brazil on Saturday on penalties. It was long known that Vidal was a target for Louis van Gaal’s United side this summer, something which has gathered pace since Chile’s World Cup exit. It is not yet known whether Juventus will be selling their prized asset this summer, but with team-mate Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola speaking on Italian television station Rai Sport, effectively ruling out a transfer this summer, it would suggest that the Old Lady are looking to the future. Raiola said:

“We have decided not to speak of the transfer market with regards to Paul until after the World Cup.

“But I can calmly say that his future will still be at Juventus, where he feels very happy.”

Vidal is a great midfielder, the kind that United would want this summer. He is better than any other midfielder the club currently have, and playing with new arrival Ander Herrera could fortify the clubs midfield ahead of the new season. The futures of Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Marouane Fellaini and Anderson could be at risk if United do bring a midfielder such as Vidal to the Theatre of Dreams this summer. Vidal would step in and instantly be ahead of any of the clubs current midfielders, which would be a benefit as Louis van Gaal looks to put his side back into the UEFA Champions League at the start of the 2015/16 season, as Barclays Premier League champions, ideally.

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Many United supporters seem to cast off the Vidal rumours, possibly because United have a pas record of failing to lure targeted player to the club, but it does seem that the interest is there from the club, and possibly from the player himself. Juventus are blessed with midfield talent with Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio, among others, who would all be fighting for a first team role. Juventus have also been interested in signing United’s Portuguese winger Luis Nani, who last week added speculation of a summer move away from Old Trafford. The Italian champions also have an interest in Vidal’s Chilean team-mate Alexis Sánchez, who could be sold by Barcelona this summer, but he could be used in a deal to secure Luis Suárez from Liverpool, yet reports suggest the winger would rather secure a move to Arsenal.

If a player like Vidal becomes available, there will be many clubs in Europe that will be vying for his signature, which could see United falling flat on their faces and not ending up with him in their squad next season. Real Madrid, a club who have a habit of signing top players, despite being very rich in current squad members, would be a club who could swoop in and sign the Chilean. In today’s TuttoSport they suggest that if Juventus do sell Vidal this summer, the player would seemingly prefer a switch to Old Trafford rather than the Santiago Bernabéu, which if true, would be a turn up for the books. Rob Dawson of the Manchester Evening News tweeted the front page of TuttoSport earlier today, which carries the story.

The Metro, over the weekend, published their own story on the Vidal rumours, in which they suggested that United would offer the player £230,000 per week to leave the Italian Serie A champions, which is a huge amount of money. Would United be able to afford another high earner on the wage bill with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie earning amount that would match, or even ellipse that figure. I guess with the exits of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Alexander Büttner from the first team, that amount could be available for a player such as Vidal and United would do very well offering that amount of money, as they would be signing one of the best midfielders in the world today.

At the UEFA Europa League final which was held in Turin in mid May, former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was seen sitting next to Antonio Conte, which was where the rumours of Vidal, or even Pogba moving to Old Trafford first started. Sir Alex knows what United need in the midfield and it does cross my mind whether the thought was actually there at that time, which if it was would have been a great time for United to show their interest. United would have to spend maybe £40 million plus to sign Vidal, but that would be money well spent, as we have seen during the FIFA World Cup, he is a kingpin for whichever side he plays for. If Luis Nani could be included in a potential deal, it would be good for all involved I feel.

Now that Vidal’s participation in the FIFA World Cup is over, we could see something happen within the coming weeks. Obviously United would like to secure all their players before the pre-season tour of the United States of America starts, but some of the players who participated in the World Cup would not be present from the start of the tour, with them likely to be in the country for the hotly anticipated match between United and Real Madrid on the 2nd August. I am sure United will announce some more pre-season matches, as if they lose against Real Madrid, there will be a fortnight before their first match of the season, and that is before the television schedule has been announced which could delay the match for up to 48 hours depending on whether it was picked up by Sky Sports or BT Sport.

This summer has started well for United. A major signing like Vidal would be great for the club and inspire the supporters ahead of what could be another tough campaign, in which United need to show their rivals that they are back….

By Paul Bienkowski

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