It wouldn’t be a normal summer if United are not embroiled in a big summer saga. Last year it was Thiago Alcantara and before Wesley Sneijder. Both players have signed a contract a million times if all reports were to be believed. As we now all know, these transfers never happened.
This year, the name on everyone’s lips is the Chilean and Juventus player, Artuno Vidal. By all accounts, he is the type of player that Man Utd need. He has a physical presence, runs non-stop for 90 minutes and contributes in defence and attack, cancelling out opponent attacks and scoring goals for his team. Furthermore, he is an experienced player having shone in Germany and Italy. He is a player that Louis van Gaal rates highly and who he had tried to sign whilst at Bayern Munich.
The player had signed a contract renewal recently however this has not stopped the rumours to take speed. Whilst Juventus are continuously stating that they are not interested in selling their top players, the player himself, never committed himself with similar statements. The latter raises doubt as to what is actually happening behind the scenes.
Vidal returned to first team training this week following his post-World Cup holiday. It was claimed that on his first day back, he had to endure a comprehensive medical checkup. This is not normal. It was rumoured that Man Utd wanted to receive detailed examinations of the player’s medical record having been recently operated to his knee. Juve, used the same excuse and stated that having been operated and soon after played a World Cup, they wanted to make sure that the player is fully recuperated. A claim which is understandable from both parts.
The Chilean met up with his new Coach Massimo Allegri who replaced Antonio Conte following his resignation. It was initially rumoured that the latter resigned from his post following disagreement on the Club’s transfer policies and related decisions. Reports quickly popped up stating that the resignation came about due to Juventus’ decision to sell Vidal to Manchester United. On the same day of the resignation, Juventus posted a video interview with Conte who explained the reasons for his resignation. Transfer policies were not mentioned. However, that is to be expected that Juventus would try to contain bad news having already lost a manager which supporters held close to their hearts.
In a press conference, Conte’s replacement, Allegri said: “He is very motivated and he is happy to stay.” My mind automatically completed this sentends: “…if a move to another club falls through.” So far, the player has in no way stated that he is unhappy at Juventus, however, that doesn’t mean that he would not want a new challenge or a move to another club.
Juventus’ Managing Director, Giuseppe Marotta, claimed: “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.” In simpler terms, he is saying, the Club don’t want to sell, however, if the player wanted to move we will let him go at the right price.
This continuous emphasis on the player is nothing new. Herrera had to activate his own transfer release clause, since his former Club was not going to grant him a move. In fact, they had rejected an offer from United the same day he signed for the Red Devils. Similarly, Robin van Persie could have moved elsewhere, however, when he was made aware of United’s interest in him, he made it clear to Arsenal that he wanted to go there.
Considering all this, and that Italian clubs are struggling to compete financial with other European clubs as well as to balance their own books, I feel that should United want to sign Vidal, they have a good opportunity to bring “Re Arturo” to Old Trafford. Apart from the footballing aspect, United will be considering three other things:
- Transfer value
- Knee injury
Arturo is 27 years old and is at the peak of his powers. He is also one of Juventus’ most influential players. This means that his price tag is somewhat hefty. The figures mentioned range between £35-50m. Knowing that the player’s value will start to decrease, United will know that there will be a minimal re-sale value as the player is already at his peak. Having been operated to his knee, United will want to make sure that he is now fully recovered and that the possibility of the injury re-occurring is minimal. The last thing they would like to do is spending a lump sum of money which results in a handful of appearances and lots of time in the treatment room.
If United are interested in signing the player and willing to break their transfer record fee, I believe that a deal can be made. However, a lot will depend on how much the player wants to join Manchester United. If he is not willing to show that, he will most certainly remain at Juventus, but if he does, there’s a good chance he will be wearing the Red Devils’ famous shirt next season.