The hunt for the signature of Juventus' Arturo Vidal is hotting up with reports that Liverpool will contend both Manchester United and Real Madrid for the player's services.
According to a report from Chilean newspaper El Mercurio (h/t 101 Great Goals) on Wednesday, it is now a three-way race between the European powerhouses to seal a transfer for the midfielder.
The publication claims Madrid are outsiders in the battle for Vidal but that the Premier League sides are both preparing offers of $73 million (£57.7 million) to present to Juve, who it appears will sell if they receive an offer that is too good to turn down.
But it is United who have allegedly made a take-it-or-leave-it bid to the Italian champions for the player.
TalkSPORT noted TuttoSport's report that the Red Devils have made a final offer of £39 million in the hope that this will secure Vidal for Louis van Gaal's squad. The report also claimed the player is believed to have ambitions to join United and this could be a major influence in any potential deal.
Despite suffering from injury, Vidal had the expected sensational World Cup many thought he would, as Chile performed well in Brazil.
His class is obvious and as United look to add genuine world-class talent to their ranks it is unlikely they could find a better player that suits their needs more than Vidal.
El Mercurio reported Vidal will get £200,000 a week to join the Old Trafford club and such a huge wage will also be a contributing factor here.
Various reports in Italy also suggest that Vidal might be preparing to put his house up for sale in Turin, in anticipation of leaving the country.
Football writer Tom Coast tweeted about this, clarifying the story:
Vidal’s neighbours have told La Stampa that the player is already planning a move from Moncalieri, near Turin.— Tom Coast (@thcoast) July 19, 2014
Just to make it clear. The paper doesn’t say Vidal has “put his house up for sale”. Just says neighbours have said he’s “planning a move”.— Tom Coast (@thcoast) July 19, 2014
Another player on United's radar is Edinson Cavani, who is making noises about his love for English football. Nick Lustig of the Daily Star quoted the Uruguay marksman discussing his admiration for the Premier League and Bundesliga:
He said to Le10Sport, per Lustig:
Premier League or the Bundesliga? I love both. But I'm not the type to change leagues constantly. Germany, Spain, Italy and England are the best leagues. But Ligue 1 is also progressing.
A change of club does not depend on the will of the player, there must be different movements between clubs.
If United do get the opportunity to purchase either Vidal or Cavani, it is the Chilean who makes the most sense. The central midfielder hit 11 goals in 32 Serie A games last term, per WhoScored.com, but it is the dominance that he offers in the middle of the park that is priceless.
Now that Liverpool are on the trail of the player you can expect United to do everything possible to complete any potential deal for Vidal as soon as possible. The Merseyside club have a Luis Suarez-size amount of cash burning in their pocket and are well placed to capture him if the Red Devils drag their heals.
Who will Arturo Vidal be playing for next season?
Juve are clearly only going to let the player depart for a strong offer and United's needs dictate that any money spent on him would be a good investment.
Vidal's signing would be a statement of intent by Ed Woodward after last summer's calamitous transfer window, which only saw the signing of Marouane Fellaini. Vidal is a different breed of animal to the big Belgian and his entrance at Old Trafford would bring a fear factor back to United.