There’s no greater head-scratcher in English football right now than how exactly Manchester United will fair in the upcoming Premier League campaign.
With 2013/14’s misery behind them and Louis van Gaal now at the helm, the Old Trafford air has suddenly got its optimism back. However, there’s only so much a new manager can bring, and the transfer window needs to be United’s best friend if the club are going to get back to the top of the world game.
Though Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw have already been secured, you get the feeling that it’s not quite enough, and two more big names will be the centre of attention in the coming weeks.
Much like Arturo Vidal himself, the transfer saga between Manchester United and the Juventus star has been running and running.
Fans’ hopes of signing the midfielder have been yo-yoing all summer, and Vidal himself revealing via Instagram that he’s happy with life in Serie A will have made some of them give up hope:
However, new reports have emerged that the Chile international’s agent has agreed terms with United, putting the transfer back within the realms of possibility.
Italian newspaper La Stampa reports, via Jack De Menezes of The Independent, that Vidal’s agent, Fernando Felicivich, has spoken with United and agreed on a lucrative contract for his client.
Said contract is reported to be worth an astronomical £182,000 per week—just shy of an annual £10 million before tax.
While a staggering figure, you have to think that parting with it is more of necessity than anything for United, who seriously need to rebuild their centre midfield.
Though Herrera will certainly make a big impact in the United shirt, he needs a player alongside him who will bring out the best that he has to offer, someone that can allow the Spaniard to demonstrate his versatility—which Guillem Balague thinks is a great attribute:
Herrera can play as number 10 or centre mid, a 'volante', right or left of the defensive midfielder in a 4-3-3. Clever guy anyway— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) June 26, 2014
Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Marouane Fellaini simply can’t split both attacking and defensive responsibilities with Herrera like Vidal can, and change really is essential.
The reported contract agreement is nothing but good news for United fans, though, they undoubtedly face more twists and turns before they see Vidal in the famous red shirt.
Angel Di Maria
Manchester United have emerged as favourites to land Real Madrid’s want-away winger, Angel Di Maria, after Paris Saint-Germain pulled out of the big-money move.
Club president Nasser Al Khelaifi revealed the ins and outs of it, saying that Di Maria is just too expensive, per Dickenson, "We discussed Angel Di Maria with Real Madrid. He was very expensive and we have stopped discussions."
That clears the way for Manchester United to pursue the highly rated Di Maria, and Metro revealed that they've already put an offer on the table:
While the 26-year-old would undoubtedly excel at United, as he would with any club, it could be a case of him or Vidal, and the Chilean would surely have top priority.
That’s not to say that Di Maria isn't good enough, far from it, but Vidal is much more of an essential purchase.
In an ideal world, the powers that be at Old Trafford will cough up over £100 million to land both of them, and as much as fans would like to get carried away with that fantasy, it simply won’t happen.
Van Gaal must decide which big-name star tops his wish list ahead of the upcoming campaign, but what he needs above all else is support from the board.
With enough money on the table, United can bring one of Di Maria or Vidal to Old Trafford, and that would go a long way to restoring the club’s status as one of football’s overlords.