Manchester United are reportedly improving their offer for Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, but the Red Devils have to be careful that they don't lose sight of other targets in their chase of the Chilean superstar.
Goal's Paul Clenman has learned United are ready to bump their offer up to £42.5 million, as both the player himself and Juventus club directors have once again acknowledged they are happy with the current situation but won't rule out a transfer.
Vidal shared his message on a Chilean radio station, as he recovers from the 2014 World Cup before joining his teammates in Turin:
"I don't feel like my time at Juventus is over, although I can't say more right now. When I'm back from Chile, I'll talk to my executives and we'll see what will happen."
Speaking to Tuttosport (via Clenman's report), club legend Pavel Nedved made it clear the club isn't looking to move the player, although a substantial offer could change their minds:
Our strategy is clear; we want to keep all our best players, including Vidal and Pogba. We don't want to sell anyone, especially Vidal.
Certainly, if there were a high bid for them, we'd have to think about it but we don't want to sell our champions.
We want to be competitive in the Champions League and the only sales to be players who are not part of our plans.
Fans have been reading into every move Juventus have made since the start of the transfer window, looking for signs that a sale might be imminent. GianlucaDiMarzio.com's David Amoyal shared his thoughts following the Bianconeri's acquisition of Roberto Pereyra from Udinese:
As I have tweeted 1000s of time Vidal could be sold this summer but Pereyra plays a very different role— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) July 22, 2014
Vidal could yet choose to leave Turin in favour of an English adventure, or he could still look at the situation in Turin and new manager Massimiliano Allegri and decide his future lies elsewhere.
But with the start of the new Premier League season just weeks away, the Red Devils have to start looking at a Plan B. Of course the club has to go all-in on Vidal, but with every passing day his arrival becomes less likely.
To say Allegri isn't popular in Turin would be an understatement. The man was mocked in that part of Italy more than David Moyes was in Manchester, for his inability to manage rivals AC Milan and the way he allowed that team to completely disintegrate.
Social media went berserk when his arrival was announced, and fans even protested outside the Vinovo training ground when it became clear the Italian would be the club's next manager, per Football Italia.
Allegri needs to win over fans of the team who have just won the Serie A title for the third consecutive season. That won't be easy, and selling one of the club's most popular players won't help his case.
Simply put, Vidal's asking price went up the moment Allegri signed on the dotted line, and unless the player requests a transfer (which is unlikely), the club will have every intention of keeping him.
Manchester United still have a strong chance of landing his signature, and with new manager Louis van Gaal eager to prove himself immediately, an inflated price tag won't be an issue.
The Red Devils are in dire need of a defensive enforcer who can help shield the back four and contribute further up the pitch, and there are few (if any) better in a box-to-box role than the Chilean international.
Vidal would be worth every penny United decide to spend on him, but they need to understand there's a good chance he won't be moving to Old Trafford in 2014 and act accordingly.
The Red Devils' transfer window has already been a strong one, but it needs that marquee signing to energise the fans ahead of the new campaign. Playing in a position of need, Vidal fits the bill perfectly.
But there are other options available, like Real Madrid's Sami Khedira (as an enforcer) and Angel di Maria (as a marquee signing). Both players would make sense for United, and should the club step up their interest in their services, both deals would be within reach.
The Red Devils have to keep pursuing Vidal, but they can't put all of their eggs in one basket. This close to the start of the new season and with Vidal now likely to stay in Turin for the time being, it's a risk Van Gaal simply cannot take.