Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on Arturo Vidal, Enzo Perez and More

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2014

Juventus Arturo Vidal, of Chile,  celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Sampdoria at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

Manchester United continue to be linked with Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, but conflicting reports suggest the Old Trafford club face a difficult battle to land the Chilean World Cup star.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (translation via 101 Great Goalssuggests the two clubs have entered negotiations:

On the weekend in England, a major bid was mooted and today (Tuesday) pink Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport have confirmed Manchester United and Juventus are in talks over Vidal.

[...] Gazzetta confirm that Manchester United have been told to cough up 40 million euros for Vidal, which seems a reasonable price to pay for arguably the biggest club in England. They add that Juventus are prepared for "any eventuality".

In contrast, Julian Shea of Metro believes Juventus have issued a "straight rejection" to United's advances, saying the Old Lady's response is a "definite no" to the English club.

Bleacher Report football writer Adam Digby confirms that notion via Sky Italia: 

Jack Wilson of the Daily Star also notes Bayern Munich are considering Vidal as a replacement for Toni Kroos, who looks to be on his way to Real Madrid.

Tom McDermott, freelancer for Sky Sports, sums up a situation that appears to be finely poised:

United are reportedly set to make an offer for Benfica's Enzo Perez, as per Colin Harvey of the Daily Star. A fee of around £23.7 million is needed to secure the Argentinian's signature, a major commitment if United are to pursue Vidal as well. While the Red Devils certainly need to galvanise power in midfield, it is likely to be one or the other, as Louis van Gaal has already purchased Ander Herrera.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - SEPTEMBER 17:  Enzo Perez (R) of SL Benfica takes the ball past Sacha Kljestan of RSC Anderlecht during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between SL Benfica and RSC Anderlecht held on September 17, 2013 at the Estadio do Sport
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Jan Hagen of Club Metro reports quotes from Perez, who indicates he isn't looking to leave the Estadio da Luz this summer:

Another transfer saga that threatens to roll on is that of Thomas Vermaelen, who doesn't know where he will be playing next season, as reported by Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard.

"I really do not know where I will play, Arsenal or elsewhere next season," the Belgian defender said. "All my attention went to the World Cup. I will see when I talk with Arsenal."

Vermaelen represents a smart replacement for outgoing centre-backs Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand if he can maintain a run of fitness. The versatile defender can slot in across the back four, but he isn't the physically dominant type many United fans would like added to the squad.

Mats Hummels is someone who would fall into that category, and he is reportedly on United's radar, as per Adrian Kajumba and Chris McKenna of the Daily Star. United allegedly want to determine whether the centre-back is interested before making a bid, in fear of repeating last summer's transfer humiliation suffered under David Moyes, which saw the Scotsman miss out on multiple high-profile targets.

Van Gaal's need to rebuild ensures United will continue to be linked with the best throughout the pre-season. Fans are sure to eagerly await minor details involving players such as Vidal, Perez and Hummels, all of whom would significantly improve the first team.

United need a handful of further additions and a couple of world-renowned names to really put the fear back into their Premier League rivals.

Old Trafford became a laughingstock last season due to sloppy, slow-paced play and tactics that moved away from the club's attacking philosophy. Vidal surely remains the fans' most wanted pick, but it's clear negotiations aren't going to be easy.