Since Manchester United’s poor finish last summer, six of every ten news report concerning the Old Trafford giants has something related to an imminent acquisition of Arturo Vidal. Many Manchester United fans did not know that Vidal existed until they either saw his performance at the World Cup, or got convinced by the waves of reports linking the Chilean to Old Trafford. The reason is not farfetched because at the height of Sir Alex Fergusson’s career at the club, the Scot had built a pattern of play that doesn’t pile much pressure on the mid-fielders whose job was just to send long range passes to the wingers.
Sir Alex had Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and later, Michael Carrick to send passes to David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo or any of the other wingers. So when United’s newer wing options (Luis Nani, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia) lost their magical touch, the midfielders had to switch from long range passes to quick ball movements. With this new style, they also had to do some extra marking because since the wingers were less ferocious on the ball, they tend to lose possession often. So when fans at Old Trafford had the rumours that a box-to-box midfield enforcer could be on his way to Manchester, they continued their jubilation even when Juventus claimed they hadn’t received any offers from United’ executives.
The summer transfers have come and gone and the rumours persisted, so this gives us about two probable inferences;
Manchester United’ Interest: United’s Ed Woodward has repeatedly claimed that he wasn’t on to Vidal throughout the summer. Let’s say you still don’t believe, how about the statements that the Turin based club gave denying any offers? The truth is that for a 27-year-old whose recurring knee injury is well documented, Louis van Gaal will never offer up to the rumoured £35m, or why did you think the Dutchman decided to bid his time on Kevin Strootman?
Perhaps, Juvetus was Looking to Sell: This is another possibility. It was obvious that if Manchester United had dangled the £35m price tag, Juventus may have considered selling because all the claims from Turin was that they didn’t receive offers, not that they wouldn’t sell if they did. They probably didn’t come out straight, but when a club says, if a player wants to leave, for the right price of course, then we can sell. It means the same thing.
However, the rumours will continue to emanate perhaps until after January of course when Louis van Gaal makes his choice. Vidal has reportedly fallen out of favour at the Turin club after been involved in an altercation on Friday which will cost Juventus a fine of about £100k, and many Italian newspapers have been reporting that this might just be the beginning of the ‘divorce’ between club and player. So come January, if Manchester United eventually prioritize him over other midfield targets, then for about £35m, Arturo will be theirs.