That report cites incoming coach Louis van Gaal as a keen admirer of the midfielder, indicating the Dutchman as the driving force behind repeated bids from the Old Trafford club.
But while those links continue, anyone with an ounce of admiration for the Chilean's current side must be hoping it is little more than paper talk. Since arriving in Turin in the summer of 2011, Vidal has become vital to Antonio Conte's Juventus, a key figure in transforming the club's fortunes over the last three years.
He has proved to be worth far more than the initial €10.5 million fee Bayer Leverkusen received from the Bianconeri, per UEFA.com. The former Colo-Colo star has made essential contributions on a consistent basis, and it is difficult to imagine how La Madama would cope without him should the exit talk become reality.
Juventus have various needs on the transfer market, a fact that links to players such as Patrice Evra, Juan Iturbe and Alvaro Morata, as reported by Football Italia, clearly indicate. Selling a player to raise funds to restructure the squad is nothing new to them, having previously sacrificed illustrious names such as Roberto Baggio and Zinedine Zidane in order to do just that.
Yet in both those cases, the player sold was always arguably second fiddle to Alessandro Del Piero, while Vidal is clearly the beating heart of this side.
While the rise of Paul Pogba, Gigi Buffon's classy leadership and Andrea Pirlo's effortless style continually garner attention, it is impossible to ignore the fact that it is Vidal who embodies this current version of Juventus.
Stats site WhoScored.com shows he has netted 38 goals in the famous black-and-white stripes, which is more than any other player over his tenure with the club. According to the same source, only Udinese's Allan and Parma's Marco Parolo—bettered his tally of 130 tackles during 2013-14, marking him out as a truly versatile threat.
WhoScored.com also highlights that "King Arturo" dished out five assists and averaged 1.2 interceptions per game, displaying the kind of high-calibre play that makes the interest in him hugely understandable.
What makes less sense, however, is the fact that the fee being discussed for one of world football's most complete midfielders—according to ESPN FC—is only around the £45 million mark. To lose Vidal as he is either entering or already enjoying the peak years of his career seems laughable, and to do so for such a low sum only exaggerates that feeling.
When talk of a move to Spain surfaced toward the end of last season, Juve's Beppe Marotta was quick to quash the idea the Chilean could be sold. Speaking to reporters at Milan's Bocconi University, the director general said, per Football Italia:
We have clear ideas, we’re a winning team that has a leader for a coach.
For this reason, I’m excluding the possible departures of our stars.
Real Madrid have shown an appreciation of Vidal, but that’s it.
Much like earlier this summer, when Matt Law of The Telegraph insisted Antonio Conte was a serious candidate for the Manchester United coaching role, there appears to be only one interested party here. The English club may crave the idea of having Vidal at their club, but there is yet to be any clear indication the player reciprocates the feeling.
With no Champions League football on offer next term, the Red Devils are bargaining from a weak position, one damaged further by the player's importance to Juventus. The coach also plays a major role in his club's transfer strategy and is unlikely to entertain losing a player he sees as vitally important to his team.
Indeed, when asked by La Gazzetta dello Sport about Sir Alex Ferguson making enquiries, Conte was also fast to dismiss the notion.
"Until I see evidence to the contrary," he said (h/t InsideFutbol.com), "Vidal will be here next season too."
When it comes to Arturo Vidal and Juventus, nothing else makes sense.
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