Manchester United Transfer News: Red Devils Must Keep Pressing for Arturo Vidal

Dominic RaynorCorrespondent IIJuly 16, 2014

Juventus' Arturo Vidal smiles during a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Fiorentina at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

Manchester United's bid to sign Arturo Vidal from Juventus might be becoming rather protracted and expensive, but the pursuit of a player of such quality is well worth it for the Red Devils.

As reported by the Press Association, via The Guardian, the player himself has said that he would be happy to stay in Turin if his proposed move to Old Trafford falls through, but the hierarchy at United should not be.

Not since the likes of Roy Keane and a youthful Paul Scholes graced the pitch at the Theatre of Dreams have United had a genuine box-to-box player that can take control of a game.

Chile international Vidal can do just that. The 27-year-old midfielder could become the foundation upon which new manager Louis van Gaal sets about rebuilding a team that failed to qualify for European competition for the first time in 25 years last season. 

It's tough to pick out a player from the Manchester United team with whom to compare Vidal. He is a different type of player to those already at Old Trafford—one who likes to get up and down the pitch and can contribute in both an attacking and defensive sense.

Somewhat surprisingly, he has more key passes per game (1.31) than Michael Carrick (0.97) and Marouane Fellaini (0.25), and yet he also betters the United pair in tackles won, at an average of three per game, compared with 1.48 and 1.94 for the aforementioned duo, per Squawka.

And while Carrick mustered one solitary goal (which was one more than Fellaini) in 29 games last season, Vidal chipped in with 11 in 32 games for Juve, per

Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera has already been acquired from Athletic Bilbao this summer. While the 24-year-old is not a box-to-box player like Vidal, he can operate in either an advanced or deep-lying role. The prospect of Vidal and Herrera dovetailing in the United midfield is a mouthwatering one.

However, Juve director Giuseppe Marotta is well aware of his player's value—both in terms of cost and importance to his own cluband is reluctant to sell, as reported by the BBC:

"Vidal is a Juventus player and we have never put him up for sale. A lot of clubs have asked for him but we have never sat down to negotiate. We want to keep him. From experience, I know that a player is the one that decides his future."

United must make sure they persuade Vidal to push through his exit and that Old Trafford is the place for him. The timing could be right. 

Vidal won three Serie A titles at Juventus under coach Antonio Conte, but the midfielder's Italian mentor left the club this week. With former AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri coming in as a replacement, per The Guardian, United must press their interest.

Despite Marotta's claims, it is believed that a £35 million deal is under negotiation for the former Bayer Leverkusen player. United also seem willing to up that offer to include Portugal winger Nani, per the Daily Express, or even up their bid to £40 million.

It would seem that a deal is still in the offing, or as Everything Man Utd put it:

Vidal's tenacious style won many admirers, as he helped Chile advance to the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup and became an instant favourite at Old Trafford with similar performances. 

The capture of such a talent would also send out a clear statement that United intend to get back on top, and quickly.

A player with Vidal's ability could be the difference between playing in the Champions League next season and another watching from the sidelines.

United have some negotiating to do, and they need to do it well.