Manchester United have finally been told that Arturo Vidal is not available to them this summer, after chasing the Chilean for much of the transfer window.
It’s another disappointment for the club, who have felt the sting of rejection multiple times over the past year. The protracted, fruitless chase of Vidal should be seen as nothing other than further embarrassment to the club, who failed to realise that the midfielder was not going to leave Juventus at this late stage of the window.
But even after the signing of Angel Di Maria earlier in the week, United are still desperately short of quality, both in central midfield and at centre-back.
With Vidal now firmly out of the picture, here’s a look at five alternatives for Man United to consider…
Daley Blind may have made his name as a full-back, but the Dutch international is just as good in central midfield, where he often played for Ajax last season.
It was widely expected that Blind would be part of the new arrivals at Old Trafford this summer, but a move has yet to take place.
The Dutch international, who is known well by Louis van Gaal, would be a great buy and the perfect complement to Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria in the midfield.
Real Madrid should be desperate to sell Sami Khedira in these final days of the transfer window, with the German international looking unlikely to extend his contract in the Spanish capital.
Manchester United have surprisingly not been linked with the midfielder, even though he’s exactly what they need. His all-action style would be an excellent fit in Louis van Gaal’s system, while his defensive work would allow Ander Herrera to thrive.
A former teammate of Angel Di Maria, Khedira would go a long way to helping United improve their fortunes on the pitch.
Sporting are said to be willing to move on their initial price tag on William Carvalho, who has been attracting plenty of interest from English football.
The midfielder is one of Portugal’s most exciting talents and looks destined for a move to the Premier League in the near future. Considering United’s links with Portuguese football, it’s a surprise they have not made a serious offer for the Sporting midfielder.
There is a big price on Carvalho’s head, even with Sporting will to negotiate. But over time, he will prove to be the perfect addition to the midfield at Old Trafford.
In recent years, the only major interest in Gokhan Inler to come out of England has been from Arsenal, who passed up the opportunity to sign the midfielder while he was at Udinese.
Now at Napoli and thriving, the Swiss international has been one of Europe’s most consistent holding midfielders over the past few seasons.
He’s the no-nonsense, tough-tackling leader United are lacking in the middle of the pitch, and would represent a very good alternative to Arturo Vidal.
They don’t get much more underwhelming than Alex Song, especially when names like Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba have been mentioned in the past.
It’s telling that so few clubs have registered any interest in the Barcelona midfielder. Evidently his ties to the Catalan club and his history at Arsenal have done nothing to convince potential suitors.
But what it all comes down to is that Song is a player who performs the defensive midfield role; how well he does that is another matter. He’s available and willing to move back to English football.
Try and look at it from this point of view: Song would be better than nothing.