Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on Arturo Vidal, Juan Cuadrado, More

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2014

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 09:  Arturo Vidal waves to fans during a Juventus training session at WIN Jubilee Stadium on August 9, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Manchester United's latest transfer news still centres on some familiar names. There are rumours of a major bid for frequently linked star Arturo Vidal.

However, if a deal for the former fails to materialise, then a former Arsenal misfit will be targeted instead. Meanwhile, a mercurial winger is in manager Louis van Gaal's thoughts.

The Dutchman is increasing his efforts to acquire Colombian midfield trickster Juan Cuadrado, with suggestions a bid has already been lodged.

Here's the latest on United's pursuit of some top stars:

Bid in for Vidal

If you believe the latest reports, then United are ready to part with a fortune to finally secure Vidal. The dynamic midfield linchpin is set to be lured away from Serie A giants Juventus after United made a £45 million bid, per Daily Star reporter Gary Jones:

Starsport understands opening negotiations have begun on a deal worth around £45m, with Juventus chiefs now willing to do business if their asking price is met.

The 27-year-old is now expected in the north-west before the end of the week when United doctors will pay special attention to the cartilage problem that required surgery in May.

Vidal however has told friends he is keen on completing a move this summer to the fallen Premier League giants and will surely prove to be the deciding factor in upcoming negotiations if all goes well with the tests.

Of course, United fans have been here before. A deal for Vidal has been close to the finishing line this summer more times than the Red Devils have won the Premier League title.

It's obvious Van Gaal's squad has a need for a midfield player as gifted as the combative and skilled Chilean. Vidal offers everything a midfielder should have: strength, flair, energy and creativity.

That makes him a natural talisman in the middle, something United haven't had since malcontent Roy Keane was sent packing.

But despite the latest report, be advised to remain cautious about yet another imminent deal for Vidal.

Alex Song is United's Vidal Alternative

If United's move for Vidal collapses for the umpteenth time, the club is reportedly prepared to take Alex Song away from FC Barcelona. The ex-Arsenal midfielder has endured a disastrous spell in La Liga since joining the Catalans in 2012.

Alex Song is emerging as a United target.
Alex Song is emerging as a United target.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

But apparently that hasn't quelled United interest, per Daily Express reporter Anthony Chapman:

The Old Trafford hierarchy are understood to be finalising their lucrative offer after handing Vidal a five-year-deal worth £182,000-per-week, but according to reports in Italy, Van Gaal has already earmarked Song if Vidal's knee scuppers his chance of a transfer.

Frankly, a potential move for Song should concern fans of the Old Trafford club. His attitude and effort are questionable, as is his best position.

Seen by many as a defensive midfielder, Song actually lacks the discipline and positional sense for that key role. That's a shame considering a minder between the defensive and midfield lines is something United need.

Ironically, Song is probably most effective when breaking forward. That's where his power, underrated skill and creative instincts come to the fore.

But Van Gaal's team is already overflowing with better players in those roles. Schemers such as Juan Mata, Shinji Kagawa and Ander Herrera can do more to influence games than Song.

The truth is Gunners boss Arsene Wenger got the most there is to get out of Song. Van Gaal would be wise to look elsewhere.

Daley Blind Keen on United Interest

Stepping away from midfield for a brief moment, Van Gaal really does need to quicken his efforts to bolster a threadbare defence. Those efforts could include tempting Dutch utility defender Daley Blind to Old Trafford.

The versatile Ajax defender recently indicated how flattered he is by potential interest from United, per Floris Koekenbier and Yanick Vos of

Of course, it's flattering when you're linked with clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona.

It would be very hard to turn down these kind of clubs. But there's no serious interest as of yet.

Blind makes sense as a player who can operate at either full-back slot or even play centre-back. That would be invaluable flexibility for a defence that has seen veterans Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra depart.

Blind knows Van Gaal well, having worked with him at international level during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The young defender would be a terrific addition to his old chief's new-look United squad.

United Preparing to Meet with Juan Cuadrado's Agent

Van Gaal may be dragging his feet somewhat over defenders, but he is accelerating his interest in Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado. Reports from Spanish publication Marca (h/t Metro) suggest the player's agent will soon meet with United:

Juan Cuadrado is nearing a move to Manchester United with his agent due to fly to England to finalise a deal, according to reports.

Spanish newspaper Marca are reporting the move, which is believed to be in the region of £36m, will go through in the coming days, with Cuadrado said to have given the go-ahead.

This is a very intriguing potential transfer. As a natural wide player who has operated in forward and defensive areas for Fiorentina, Cuadrado would be a great fit for Van Gaal's 3-5-2 system.

He could operate as a wing-back on the right side, representing an upgrade over veteran Antonio Valencia. Cuadrado is powerful, tricky and pacy from the flanks.

However, there are a few reasons to be dubious about this rumour. For one thing, Marca is a publication noted for its support of Real Madrid.

Considering interest in Cuadrado from Real's bitter rival FC Barcelona, this could be mischief making from the capital-based outlet. That's just a theory, but more pertinent is Cuadrado's noted reticence to move to England.

Daily Express reporter Ben Jefferson has previously stated Cuadrado's position:

The 26-year-old is on record as saying he does not favour a move to England and is unsure whether the Premier League would suit his style of play.

And with Barcelona and Bayern Munich both also interest in the winger, it seems that he has other options available to him.

But if Van Gaal can convince Cuadrado to reject Spanish shores for England, he'll earn a terrific player. The Dutch boss loves to attack with true width, pace and fluidity from the flanks. Cuadrado offers all of those qualities.

The proposed £36 million fee is steep, but one certainly within United's range.

The latest transfer news shows the Red Devils starting to hasten their bid to overhaul a squad that fell into decay under Sir Alex Ferguson before collapsing altogether during David Moyes' calamitous stewardship.

If Van Gaal can tempt even one mega star such as Vidal or Cuadrado to Old Trafford, despite not being able to offer UEFA Champions League football, he'll have pulled off a major coup.


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