David Moyes is preparing to swoop for Juventus' midfield dynamo Arturo Vidal.
Manchester United manager David Moyes will be looking to conclude a second piece of transfer business in the coming days.
According to Miguel Delaney of ESPN, Moyes is hopeful of capturing the Chilean, and contact has already been made with his representatives.
Vidal's modest salary at the Italian club means that Moyes has some leverage to offer him a bumper pay rise, but Delaney also notes that any deal won't be straightforward:
Any United offer would also have to be enough to overcome Vidal's admiration for both the Italian champions and head coach Antonio Conte—he turned down Bayern Munich to go to Juventus—while there is also the potential complication of United failing to qualify for the Champions League.
Vidal's capture would certainly add a new dimension to the Reds midfield, his whole-hearted commitment and box-to-box energy reminiscent of Roy Keane in his pomp.
To try to pick a hole in his all-round game is to quibble over the minutiae. Yes he really is that good.
Along with the left-back position, Moyes identified central midfield as a cause for concern when taking over the reigns at Old Trafford. His need for high-calibre reinforcements in those areas is evident.
In a Juve midfield that contains the effervescent and effortless Andrea Pirlo, Vidal is the standout.
ForzaItalianFootball described him as:
The engine room of the Juventus midfield. In spite of Pirlo’s creativity and Paul Pogba’s rise to prominence, he is the glue that keeps the whole side together.
Vidal is the heart and lungs of the side. He leads through his tireless running and unwavering determination.
It's fairly obvious why Moyes is so keen to land a player whose star has been on the rise since Bayer Leverkusen picked him up from Colo Colo for a bargain €5.2 million in 2007.
During his time in Germany, Vidal played equally well in whatever system manager Jupp Heynckes wished to utilise.
Indeed, back in the 2010/11 season, the Chilean was almost unplayable, according to BackPageFootball:
The culmination of his hard work and further refinement of his game made for a truly outstanding campaign.
Along with his impressive goal and assist tally Vidal also had a staggering 2810 touches on the ball in the league, more than influential players like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nuri Sahin.
He also completed an impressive 82% of his 1891 passes.
Defensively speaking, Vidal won 56% of all his tackles, outperforming Sven Bender, arguably the league’s best pure defensive midfielder.
Such a high level of performance was always going to bring Vidal to the attentions of Europe's top clubs, and Juve splashed €10.5 million in July 2011 to take him to Italy on a five-year deal.
A further year was added to Vidal's Juve contract in December 2013, announced via the official club website, and this rather complicates matters for Moyes.
An important factor in terms of Arturo Vidal is that he recently signed a new deal with Juventus to keep him there until 2017. Expensive.— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) January 21, 2014
However, the Scot shouldn't be deterred in his pursuit of the player.
Vidal's signature can have the same energising effect at Old Trafford that Arsenal enjoyed when capturing Mesut Ozil on the last transfer deadline day.
Arsenal's resurgence during this campaign has been clear for all to see, and there is no doubting that Ozil's capture was the catalyst.
With the right personnel in situ, United can still finish the season strongly. A Vidal-led midfield should galvanise the squad, as he single-handedly drags the team up by the scruff of the neck and on to greater exploits.
Every team needs its leader. Manchester United need Arturo Vidal.