Manchester United have reportedly struck a "verbal agreement" with Arturo Vidal ahead of a proposed record-breaking deal for the midfield destroyer.
Interestingly, this potential progress comes straight from the Chilean press and not that of England or Italy. El Mercurio ran a headline story, translated by 101 Great Goals, which indicates Vidal is ready to move if the Red Devils offer $80 million (approximately £47.2 million):
According to the front page of the paper, Vidal is ready to leave Juventus to join Old Trafford provide the Scudetto champions receive a record breaking club transfer fee of $80 million for the Chilean star. Should United fail to stump up that cash, however, Vidal is said to "respect" Juventus' decision to turn down the deal.
ManUtd Stuff posted the newspaper's spread on Twitter:
Arturo Vidal is understood to have a 'verbal agreement' with United ahead of a £47m move. [el mercurio] pic.twitter.com/cGZYtxzVZX— ManUtd Stuff (@ManUtdStuff) July 29, 2014
The story also suggests Fernando Felicevich, Vidal's agent, will fly to Italy in order to begin thrashing out a deal, which could land his client $18 million per year (£10.6 million).
El Mercurio brings in the dreaded "unnamed source," who indicates Vidal wishes to join Louis van Gaal's transitional squad, as per 101 Great Goals:
Vidal wants to leave, and he's told his agent this. They've even already made a verbal agreement with Manchester. However, Arturo is very respectful towards Juve, grateful for what they've given him and will accept their final decision.
Juventus are yet to indicate they are willing to let Vidal leave. Giuseppe Marotta, the club's managing director, hints the club could come round to the idea if the midfielder states his desire to move on, as reported by Simone Bargellini and Nadia Carminati of Sky Sports.
"Transfer gossip is normal on one of the best players in circulation," said Marotta. "We have never activated a plan to sell the player. In football you can never say, but if the player wants to stay we will be happy to keep him."
Will Arturo Vidal play for Manchester United next season?
Vidal recently renewed his contract until 2017, ensuring any suitors will be forced into paying top whack for the 27-year-old.
United's lightweight midfield would receive an injection of physicality if he linked up with the English club, who have desperately needed a box-to-box type of Vidal's style across the past few years.
The player's excellent performances at the World Cup, which came amid a spell of injury, underline his battling spirit and willingness to put the team first. This kind of commitment would be welcome alongside new signing Ander Herrera in the middle of the park, where the duo could form a well-rounded relationship.
Duncan Drasdo, CEO of the Manchester United Supporters Trust, offered his take on Marotta's ambiguous comments:
So essentially Juve are prepared to sell Vidal provided player gives them cover vs fans (& saves £) by asking for transfer #GetItDoneEd— Duncan Drasdo (@Drasdo) July 28, 2014
United fans know better than most that a potential transfer should never be celebrated until the player is seen holding the famous red shirt.
Vidal threatens to be this summer's Cesc Fabregas—constantly linked to Old Trafford yet never purchased—as it appears the clubs are some way off agreeing terms. El Mercurio's report is encouraging, but it is foolish to assume a deal will definitely go ahead from here.
The yearning for Vidal comes from him offering everything United need to dramatically tighten up in the centre.
His natural ability to compete, score goals and distribute possession can instantly improve Van Gaal's chances of making a positive impression once competitive football begins.
Vitally, Vidal's arrival will also stop the new boss from falling into the same trap as David Moyes, whose inability to sign world-class talent ushered his reign in with a whimper last summer.