Such was the disaster of Manchester United’s summer of transfer business last year that you simply can’t resist making comparisons each time the club head down a long and winding road in pursuit of a star player.
Last year it was Cesc Fabregas, with evidently enough noise coming out of the Spaniard’s camp to convince United to knock on the door of Barcelona. And then again. And then some more. By the end of it, it transpired that Cesc’s intention was to kick the Catalans in confirming their commitment to him in the midst of difficulties in settling into life at the Camp Nou.
The end of last summer’s window saw a last-minute run at Ander Herrera, who, despite eventually turning up at Old Trafford a year on, only confirmed United’s misguided approach to the market under Ed Woodward and David Moyes.
United may be a different animal this time around, complete with a manager who knows how to handle the day-to-day of a major European club, and a vice-chairman in Woodward who has clearly developed a taste for wrapping up big-money signings. But the club’s continued interest in Arturo Vidal may prove that United have indeed learnt little from previous transfer sagas.
Such is the unpredictability of the transfer market that we simply can’t call what will happen a few weeks down the road. But if we’re to put together all the information out there, the feeling is that Juventus will not sell the Chilean this summer.
And why would they? They have no real need to, nor is the player kicking up a fuss to move on. In addition, Juventus aren’t hovering around pricey transfer targets, necessitating the need for a major sale.
Recent reports suggest Louis van Gaal will look to intercept Vidal’s agent this week, who has been in England keeping an eye on another client, Alexis Sanchez. The Manchester United manager is said to be keen on devising a scheme that will see Juventus relinquish their hold on the Chilean.
But it could once again prove to be a fruitless effort. Vidal is said to be happy in Turin, while the club will be keen to offer Max Allegri, the recently-appointed replacement for Antonio Conte, all the tools to be a success. Selling a star player like Vidal at this stage of the summer makes little sense when replacements could be extremely difficult to find.
Jack Wilshere is said to be on the Italian Champions’ radar, but Arsene Wenger simply won’t consider a sale of someone as valuable, while Fredy Guarin would have added to the speculation of an impending Vidal sale had he made the switch from Inter Milan in January.
The current position of Italian football means Juventus may be powerless to stop Vidal from being plucked by one of Europe’s other major clubs. But Juventus have done a lot of work thus far this summer to ensure the Chilean remains out of the clutches from their counterparts across the continent and England. A transfer in the future may be something United and Juventus can agree on for now.
In the meantime, United should switch focus to targets who are attainable, such as Daley Blind, who can cover at both left-back and defensive midfield.
United have looked good in preseason and the signing of Herrera in particular will prove to be a huge boost. But the squad isn’t complete yet, and though the emphasis should be on defensive additions, adding someone who can complement Herrera in midfield is also a must, even if that player doesn’t have the same star power as Vidal.