Though a dark cloud still looms over Old Trafford thanks to former manager David Moyes, there are now endless reasons for Manchester United fans to search for the silver lining.
With Louis van Gaal at the helm with ambitions only for the top, the restoration of the glory days at the Theatre of Dreams now looks a near certainty.
There’s only so much a fresh outlook and different tactics can bring, though, and the Dutch manager knows that he needs to spend big to cement United’s place among the domestic elite once again.
And spending big doesn’t mean panicking and bringing in another Marouane Fellaini-esque signing for Van Gaal, as he has the highly rated Arturo Vidal and Angel di Maria firmly in his sights.
The former was one of the sensations of the World Cup with Chile, bringing his Serie A form with Juventus to Brazil.
However, despite Vidal’s sterling (and deserved) reputation in the game, reports are emerging that United are ready to pull out of the transfer, with his £34 million price tag apparently too high, per David Anderson of the Mirror.
Is paying £34 million too much for Arturo Vidal?
Anderson writes that Manchester United are determined not to break the bank for Vidal, but is £34 million really paying over the odds for such a talented midfielder? The 27-year-old scored 11 goals and assisted five more in Serie A last term per WhoScored.com, but his talent goes beyond finding the net, as he’s one of the best midfielders plying his trade right now.
That’s something that Bleacher Report’s Sam Tighe agrees with, and he believes that with Vidal, United can reach dizzying heights of success once again:
In my opinion, Arturo Vidal is the best CM in the world. If #MUFC sign him, it's time to get very, very scared.— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) July 15, 2014
In Manchester United terms, £34 million is just a few pennies more than the astronomical figure they paid for Fellaini at the start of last season, so there must be something more behind it.
Journalist Tom McDermott thinks that it could be something to do with the Juventus man’s injured knee, as how could United not shell out for his services?
I'd be flabbergasted if #mufc don't pay £34m for Vidal. Can only assume it's a knee issue.— Tom McDermott (@FootballMcD) July 15, 2014
It seems that Vidal himself is also keen to play for the Red Devils, too, as he said that playing for such a big club is what dreams are made of, per Anderson: “I’ve heard about the rumours. I’m enjoying my holidays, and when I return to Italy I’ll see what happens. I’m very calm, but anyone would love to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
With doubt creeping into the transfer, though, Vidal may not be able to enjoy playing for “one of the biggest clubs in the world,” and United may decide to look elsewhere.
As one transfer falls into doubt, another one gets more likely, though, as Angel Di Maria’s chances of going to Old Trafford were enhanced earlier this week.
One of Madrid’s best players last season, the Argentinian has been the subject of mass transfer speculation since he lifted the Champions League trophy, and United have understandably been chasing his signature.
However, with Van Gaal and United unable to offer Di Maria Champions League football next season, it’s difficult to see the 26-year-old making the switch to Manchester.
It means that the Dutch manager is going to need to finely tune his powers of negotiation to land Di Maria, but he’d undoubtedly be worth it.
Likewise with Vidal, who would fit into Van Gaal’s system perfectly as a ferocious tackler with dynamic ability going forward.
It seems that both of the transfers hang in the balance right now, but if sealing deals is simply a matter of the club putting their hands into their bottomless pockets, the solution is simple.