Manchester United Transfer News: Arda Turan Eyed as Arturo Vidal Alternative

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2014

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 23: Arda Turan of Club Atletico de Madrid on the ball uring a Club Atletico de Madrid training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 23, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United are ready to turn their attention toward Atletico Madrid star Arda Turan if an agreement cannot be reached for Arturo Vidal, according to reports. 

The Red Devils could use Shinji Kagawa as leverage in a deal, according to Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express: "Reports last week suggested that Atletico had already made preliminary enquiries about Kagawa's availability. And while it is thought that United value the Japanese international at approximately £14m, it seems that the Red Devils could look to turn the tables on Atletico with a move for Turan."

Jefferson says a package worth £30 million "might be sufficient" to send the attacking midfielder United's way, a transfer that may be forced along after Vidal flew to Jakarta to start Juventus' pre-season tour.

The Chilean destroyer continues to be linked with the club in the summer's longest-running transfer rumour, as per Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail

Louis van Gaal is due to assess his transfer options soon, as United's official website reports:

It's a little bit soon to judge but in football you have to judge. You always have to give a chance to the player to make a transfer (to leave) when you see that his chances of playing are not high. You have to say it in advance because 31 August is too late. I shall say to the players what I think after this tour but not to you (the media).

Although he is a quality player, Turan is a completely different entity than Vidal. Atletico's versatile winger can play on either side and through the middle, offering a creative presence on the ball. Despite his lack of great speed, Turan is a hard worker who fulfills his defensive duties and regularly supports his full-back in Diego Simeone's 4-4-2 formation.

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 15: Arda Turan (R) of Atletico de Madrid competes for the ball with Antonio Rukavina (L) of Real Valladolid CF during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Valladolid CF  at Vicente Calderon Stadium on Februar
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

In fact, Turan's defensive contribution defines the Argentinian manager's tactics rather well. Atletico are set up to frustrate and overwork their opponents, meaning Turan is accustomed to breaking forward and offering a dogged presence in his own half. That said, it's questionable whether he possesses the pace needed to act as an outright wing-back in Van Gaal's 3-5-2 formation.

The Turkish player's arrival may also overlook the need for a midfield behemoth. Vidal would provide United with the central box-to-box presence needed, if he arrives.

He is someone who can break up play and distribute it quickly before bursting toward the area. Vidal's boundless energy has been long-craved in United's midfield, as highlighted by Darren Fletcher's repeat performances during the club's pre-season tour of the USA.

While Fletcher has played well, his potentially career-ending bowel problems are always on the periphery.

ANN ARBOR, MI - AUGUST 2:  Shinji Kagawa #26 of Manchester United passes the ball against Asier Illarramendi #24 of Real Madrid which Gareth Bale then shot for  a goal during the second half of the Guinness International Champions Cup at Michigan Stadium
Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Ander Herrera has provided a calming influence during recent friendlies, but he needs a rampant partner who can physically impose himself across the course of a season. Turan is not that player; instead, he would cause further problems when Van Gaal assesses which of his playmakers should start behind the strikers.

Juan Mata has looked at home in the No. 10 spot during the pre-season, while Kagawa put in an excellent shift during the recent 3-1 International Champions Cup win over Real Madrid. The Japanese star's deft right-footed cross to set up Javier Hernandez's goal provided a glimpse of his Borussia Dortmund form, and unsurprisingly, it came in his favoured central position.

Football writer Thore Haugstad suggests United already possess a midfield trio to be feared:

While Jefferson's report indicates Kagawa would be exchanged for Turan, Van Gaal may have to ask himself whether the Atletico player offers a £16 million upgrade over his current star.

Many United fans are longing to see Kagawa excel at Old Trafford and will be willing to stick by their man for a further season at least. If he doesn't fit into the manager's plans, exploring a transfer away is fair, but all indications across United's summer play indicate Kagawa is wanted for the season ahead.


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