Arsene Wenger is reportedly considering a bid for Juventus' Arturo Vidal, but he is wary of being unable to compete for the midfielder's signature if Manchester United act upon their interest with a concrete bid.
The French boss' main priority is said to be Alexis Sanchez, a signing who would seriously dent the Gunners' kitty and chances of snapping up his aforementioned Chilean teammate, as reported by Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star:
Sanchez is emerging as the man Arsene Wenger wants to make his marquee summer signing. ...
Wenger is also keeping tabs on Sanchez’s Chile team-mate Arturo Vidal.
But he fears that the Gunners will be priced out of a move for the £35m-rated Juventus midfielder with Manchester United and Bayern Munich also keen.
Sanchez was widely reported to be a makeweight in a likely deal that will see Barcelona sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool, but, according to Mundo Deportivo (via 101 Great Goals), the Reds are looking for a cash bid only when selling their Uruguayan striker.
David Kent of the Daily Mail believes Sanchez prefers a move to Arsenal over Liverpool anyway, suggesting Wenger could land his man if the appropriate funds are stumped up. Reports in Italy indicate Vidal would opt for United over anyone else, as per James Dickenson of The Express, making a potential Arsenal bid difficult if Sanchez is to be pursued as well.
Wenger's side could certainly use someone of Vidal's ilk in midfield. The north London club possess a plethora of tidy passers and those who can move the ball quickly but are lacking when it comes to destructive options in the centre. Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta break up play well, but they lack the power to burst forward in an attempt to physically impose themselves across the pitch.
Even so, WhoScored.com's analysis (via talkSPORT) indicates Vidal to United makes great sense due to the recent signing of Ander Herrera:
Should United convince Juventus to part ways with 'The Warrior', it’s likely Ander Herrera would partner him in midfield, where the duo would compliment one another wonderfully. Both have the ability to surge forward from the middle, and their insistence on pressing higher up the pitch would squeeze the space available to the opposition, thus forcing them into errors in key areas.
Jack Wilshere could potentially achieve this fluidity alongside Vidal at Arsenal, but there's a sense Wenger should spend most of his cash on out-and-out attacking arrivals. Sanchez's ability to link the midfield and forward lines would galvanise Arsenal's incision, providing them a greater cutting edge to cause havoc in support of Olivier Giroud.
Should a natural striker also be added to the squad, Sanchez's arrival would signal a far more formidable Arsenal attack than we saw throughout the 2013-14 campaign. Yes, Wenger should absolutely invest in a specialist defensive midfielder, but someone in the region of £35 million isn't necessary right now.
Sanchez appears to be a real possibility for the Emirates faithful, while Vidal is likely to be rendered something of a dream addition. Either player would significantly improve Arsenal's quality, but Sanchez is the player who can spark the Gunners' hunt for silverware into life next season.
Wenger is unlikely to prove ambitious enough to land both—especially in the era of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules—but would do excellently to land one of the Chilean stars the footballing world cannot stop speaking about.