Manchester United Transfer News: Arturo Vidal Unlikely Despite Patrice Evra Deal

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2014

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 02:  Arturo Vidal of Juventus in action during the Serie A match between Juventus and FC Internazionale Milano at Juventus Arena on February 2, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Manchester United's hopes of signing Arturo Vidal from Juventus continue to fluctuate in the press, despite Patrice Evra's potential switch to the Turin-based club potentially giving United a one-up.

Enrico Passarella, who reports for Sky Italia's Gianluca Di Marzio's Calciomercato website, believes only an outrageous offer will see Juve sell their prized midfield asset:

As for now, no: the signals go in the opposite direction, also for Vidal, who is the most rumoured one in these days. He’s targeted by Manchester United, but only an incredible offer might change Juventus’ decision: it's hard to find a worthy replacement who guarantees goals, excellent performances and personality like Vidal.

Richard Tanner of the Express conflicts this by suggesting United's chances of landing the player "increased" due to Evra's newly revealed agreement with the Serie A champions. A "nominal fee" is said to be agreed between the clubs, but Tanner believes the "real significance" is whether this potential agreement helps Juventus into letting Vidal leave.

Passarella also indicates Evra is on his way—despite recently signing a one-year contract extension—for a fee of around €2 million. It would certainly be a surprise to see the French left-back leave so soon after confirming his immediate future to United, and especially after leaders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand moved on.

Luke Shaw does strengthen the Red Devils' options in defence, but many anticipated he would compete for a left-back role with Evra, not be given a consistent starting place during his first season with Louis van Gaal's men. Considering Alexander Buttner signed for Dynamo Moscow at the end of June, per BBC Sport, the incoming Dutch boss would have plenty of replacements to land if Evra leaves as well.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 19:  Patrice Evra of Manchester United competes with Leandro Salino of Olympiacos during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second round match between Manchester United and Olympiacos FC at Old Trafford on March 19, 2014 in
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Still, United fans would likely push Evra through the Old Trafford exit if it eased a deal for Vidal. The rampaging midfielder is a thumping tackler, flaunts quality with the ball at his feet and possesses real goalscoring threat. United need a central midfielder with this kind of well-rounded game and should be looking to capture at least one marquee signing to dominate the centre.

Alongside Evra, Juventus are widely suggested to be interested in Nani, reported by Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star. Chris Winterburn of the Metro indicates United would be wise to utilise any Juve attraction to lower Vidal's potential fee:

United must use this to the club's advantage should they wish to sign Vidal. There have been suggestions of a valuation of around £40m placed on Vidal, although this valuation would significantly decrease if Nani or Evra were included as part of a deal.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 08:  Head coach, Louis van Gaal speaks to the media during the Netherlands Press Conference at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil held at the Arena de Sao Paulo on July 8, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Gett
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Vidal's signing is certainly ambitious, but Van Gaal is the right man to pull off. The incoming boss could remove two players from United's wage bill and open slots up for other signings if Evra and Nani can be included. Both stars posted poor seasons during 2013-14, with Evra's decline and Nani's shortcomings obvious across the past 12 months.

Van Gaal is the type of man-manager who can improve both players' form, but the acquisition of Vidal remains more important. United's midfield has lacked a physical leader—someone who can break up play and distribute the ball effectively—for years. Vidal can fulfill both of these duties and plenty more, but United may have to break the bank to get him.