Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on Arturo Vidal, Thomas Vermaelen, More

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2014

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 22:  Arturo Vidal listens to a question during the Chile Press Conference at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil held at the Arena de Sao Paulo on June 22, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Manchester United will have to pay "over £45 million" to acquire the services of Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, according to Miguel Delaney of ESPN FC.

The Chilean midfielder, who starred for Jorge Sampaoli's side at the World Cup despite struggling with a lack of fitness, is reported to be one of Louis van Gaal's top targets heading into his first campaign as Red Devils boss, as per Jack de Menezes of The Independent.

Understandably, Juve aren't welcoming offers for their midfield talisman. Delaney's article indicates United will be forced into paying heavily for the 27-year-old:

Sources state United have picked up their interest in the player over the past few weeks and Vidal himself is understood to be open to the idea. Arsenal are also seen to be in the running. 

Juventus, however, remain unwilling to sell their star player, while any negotiations are likely to be complicated as it will take an offer of over £45m to even make the Italian side consider the possibility.

United recently paid around £28 million for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, as per Sky Sports, and stumped up an initial fee of £27 million for Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, as reported by BBC Sport. The Red Devils have money to spend during Van Gaal's first season in charge but must do so wisely after last season's capture of Marouane Fellaini failed spectacularly.

Former United centre-back Rio Ferdinand indicates Vidal doesn't offer the greatest long-term investment:

Van Gaal's entire squad needs strengthening, meaning some signings are likely to be on the cheaper side. Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen continues to be linked with the club after United had a £6 million bid turned down, as reported by Adam Crafton of the Daily Mail. United and their rivals are set to meet at an agreement of £11 million, as highlighted in the aforementioned report:

Sources close to the Belgian camp in Brazil indicate that the 28-year-old has been instructed by his advisors not to talk about the move publicly but there is an expectation that Vermaelen will be a Manchester United player when the Premier League season kicks off in August.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  Nick Powell of Wigan Athletic challenges Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal during the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Wigan Athletic and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on April 12, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Get
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Vermaelen is obviously a less spectacular signing than someone of Vidal's ilk, but he could fulfill an important role at Old Trafford if he remains fit.

He can play as a centre-back and a left-back, plus he is a cut-price option to replacing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Vermaelen is one of the Premier League's best when he finds consistent form, which just hasn't been possible at Arsenal after Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker struck up a dominant relationship at the back.

Simon Jones of the Daily Mail suggests Feyenoord's Stefan de Vrij "is destined" to play for United next season, following Van Gaal to the Theatre of Dreams after an impressive World Cup. A fee of £7 million plus add-ons is detailed for the 22-year-old, a transfer that would represent decent business along United's rebuild.

De Vrij was previously quoted as saying, "The chances are that I will leave, I can probably confirm this," as per RTV Rijnmond (via Gary Jones of the Daily Star).

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 13:  Stefan de Vrij of the Netherlands celebrates scoring the third goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Spain and Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova on June 13, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Paul Gi
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

OptaJohan highlights the kind of versatile game De Vrij would offer United upon arrival:

Vidal remains one of the only truly marquee players linked to the club after it emerged that Real Madrid will likely sign Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich, as per Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail. Former United midfielder Paul Scholes wishes the club would invest in someone of similar quality, as per his Paddy Power column, something Sam Pilger of FourFourTwo agrees with if the club's summer is to be deemed a success:

United are making moves in the right direction, but there's no doubt the squad needs to be thoroughly galvanised before the side can be considered title contenders. Although Herrera and Shaw are signings to get excited about, there's plenty of work to be done in the transfer market.

If Juventus are willing to consider selling Vidal for £45 million like reports suggest, United's next signing should be something of a no-brainer.