Another week goes by and Manchester United have not yet made any serious indications as to whether or not Arturo Vidal or Kevin Strootman is the genuine midfield target. Van Gaal, in the pre match press conference against Roma last week, did give us a bit of a clue that Kevin Strootman would certainly be under consideration, but not until he is back fit and playing again. This almost automatically shifted the spotlight back on Arturo Vidal, who is now back in Turin after his post world cup holiday. The stance from Juventus has been staunch, comments like “Vidal is fundamental to us….Vidal is happy here….Vidal not for sale” etc, etc, we would expect no less. The Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov transfer sagas spring to mind.
Yesterday, the Metro, would have us believe that the Vidal’s agent is in Manchester ironing out the finer details and that a transfer is imminent. The Star also take a similar line as does the Express and then host of websites and blogs have regurgitated these reports. It seems the Metro, Star and Express are all basing their information on the news from Chile and Italy. The Gazetta Della Sport have been very bold and seem to be convinced Vidal is on his way out of Turin, but they offer no connected sources and therefore the Italian reports read like pure conjecture. The reports in Chile are somewhat fantastical in the amounts of money they are claiming Manchester United have allegedly offered to pay Vidal. The reports in Chile seem to be jumping on the band wagon after Chile had a promising world cup and are sensationalising the transfer story. Vidal is now a national hero and the continuous links to Manchester United are very appealing and after all, will sell newspapers.
In my view all these reports are dubious for a number of reasons and quick analysis of the reports over the last week or so shows why.
Firstly, some reports are stating that Vidal has already had is United medical? Anybody who knows how transfer deals work will tell you that the medical examination is only done after the 2 clubs have negotiated a fee. Only then will the owning club give the player consent to complete a medical. That’s not to say that the buying club may ask for a preliminary medical to see if a player is worth pursuing or not. With the staunch stance Juve are taking I doubt that would have happened. Any report claiming a medical has taken place devalues the credibility of the report.
Secondly, some of the reports mention the quote Vidal made to Sky Italia on Thursday evening of last week as stating, “I do not go there” or “I do not go to Manchester” . When he actually answered the question if he was leaving to go to Manchester by grinning and Saying “no no, no no.” The words I do not go there, or I do not go to Manchester was an invention of an eager Italian media. Any report that uses the incorrect quotes also has to be seen as suspect.
Thirdly, some of the reports also mention that Liverpool are also interested in Vidal. Liverpool have never confirmed interest in Vidal at any stage, and it’s almost laughable that Vidal would want to go there. Sure, they can guarantee Vidal Champions League football for at least season1, but Liverpool do not pay high wages, they balked at paying Sanchez £130,000 and then there would be the £40 mil needed to purchase him. Reports that Liverpool are seriously interested in Vidal are optimistic in the least and downright deluded in the extreme. (Don’t worry though Liverpool fans you have also been linked with Marco Reus. Thank you to the Mirror for giving us a big laugh at that one. )
The fact is, I haven’t seen one credible source yet that this Vidal to Manchester is happening and until I do I am taking it all with a pinch of salt and I suggest that all United fans do as well. That’s not to say that I don’t want to see Vidal in the red shirt I do, I regard Vidal as the missing piece of the midfield jigsaw, someone who Herrera and Mata will genuinely thrive off.
The usually reliable Andy Mitten also stated last Friday that Manchester United have categorically dropped all interest in Vidal, echoing the story that was printed in the daily mail last Tuesday. However, he did say words to the contrary prior to the tour and also stated the De Vrij was a Manchester United target, which has been denied by the player just yesterday. That’s not to say Andy is trying to mislead anyone, it could be that his sources have another agenda when leaking information to him.
The Daily Mail reports last Tuesday were very strong and went onto quote “club sources have confirmed that Van Gaal has dropped interest in Vidal and is looking at other options,” Strootman? Naturally this could be a negotiating tactic, by leaking false information to the ever eager Daily Mail.
It is my opinion based on all of the above and monitoring the story for some while now as well as the snippets of information that LVG said about Strootman that Kevin is the real Manchester United target and not Vidal. Prior to the world cup LVG was asked if Strootman was on his list of targets he had asked Ed Woodward to enquire about. He said simply the following… “Is Strootman on my list? A fact for me a question for you.” A good answer, and my feeling is that if he wasn’t a target his answer would have been a straight no. I am also aware of that LVG has also made complimentary remarks about Vidal prior to the Holland vs Chile match at the world cup. But, as both players are similar it’s my gut feeling that LVG wants Strootman over Vidal. It surely has to be one or the other? It’s doubtful both players are being targeted and I think Vidal has been dropped in favour of trying out the current Manchester United players to adapt and possibly excel to his philosophy until Manchester United can make an offer to bring Strootman in.
The question is who would you prefer?
With Vidal you get a tried and tested world cup star who is a genuine marquee signing. With Strootman you get a younger player with enormous potential that really could eclipse Vidal on the world stage. A player already familiar with the LVG way of doing things and a power house in the middle of the park. No doubt about it, Strootman is destined for great things with his future in front of him, just the type of player Manchester United like signing.
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