Louis van Gaal is set to meet with Fernando Felicevich, Arturo Vidal's agent, on Monday, according to reports in Italy.
Felicevich is currently in England after watching Alexis Sanchez, one of his other clients, help Arsenal claim the Community Shield against Manchester City. The agent has also brokered deals for Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla this summer, but his biggest could be about to arrive.
Rai Sport, translated via 101 Great Goals, reports the latest on Vidal's potential move:
According to Rai Sport, Felicevich will meet with LVG in order to work out the appropriate strategy to convince Juventus to part with Vidal. Rai also claim van Gaal will offer Marouane Fellaini and Javier Hernandez in a swap deal plus cash for Vidal.
United fans will be counting down the days until the transfer window closes, such is the persistence of this rumour. Vidal's prospective move can be considered this summer's "saga," similar to the club's alleged interest in Thiago Alcantara last year.
While supporters have been forced to grow accustomed to intense speculation without any progress being made, it's undoubtedly frustrating when these deals fail to go through. Will Vidal arrive at Old Trafford during the coming campaign? Tuttosport suggests it will take €50 million to land the player, per 101 Great Goals' translation.
Felicevich's presence in England is nothing new. Football writer Chris Winterburn indicated the agent was also within touching distance of United's offices one month ago, although Van Gaal was yet to begin his tenure at this point:
A report from the Chilean media outlet 'La Tercera' suggests that Manchester United have taken advantage of Fernando Felicevich being in UK— Chris Winterburn (@Chriswin4) July 11, 2014
With key clients now plying their trade in the Premier League, Van Gaal has no excuse for not being able to land Vidal, if the player is desired. United have the funds and ambition to bring in Juventus' key man. Most importantly, they also have the need to dramatically improve a midfield area that has laboured with sloppiness for years now.
Ander Herrera brings a snappy passing game to United's centre, but Vidal would provide the physical presence that has been missing since Roy Keane used to clatter opponents across the pitch. Vidal is a real athlete, someone who will run from box to box just to provide teammates options in attack.
He is able to distribute, tackle with force and provide a sense of urgency. Vidal is one of the world's most well-rounded midfielders, someone who can improve any team if he remains fit. While concerns remain over his continued knee problems, reported by El Mercurio and via ITV, he is well worth the asking price if he can maintain top shape.
Alex Shaw of ESPN indicates it is now or never for United:
Vidal's agent reportedly at Wembley.If MUFC don't make approach or talk with him in London today/this week then they must simply not be keen— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) August 10, 2014
Stuart Mathieson of the Manchester Evening News is skeptical when considering Van Gaal will add to his numbers before Saturday's Premier League opener with Swansea City. He says "there might be one or two further tweaks to the Reds squad but Van Gaal's real business could come in the January transfer window."
This will amount to a complete nightmare for those who crave a quick round of United spending. Targets are generally more expensive in January, but this year's World Cup has certainly inflated prices throughout the summer. Van Gaal would be able to gauge Vidal's long-term fitness by holding off until after Christmas, but this doesn't solve obvious weaknesses in United's team.
When should Louis van Gaal try to sign Arturo Vidal?
Perhaps a middle-ground, cheaper option is needed for the time being. United are expected to wait for Kevin Strootman's return to fitness before plucking him away from Roma at the start of the new year, so the current transfer window may hold no further surprises for those hoping to see new faces added to Herrera and Luke Shaw.
Whether Vidal is signed this window or not, it would make sense for United to do the groundwork with Felicevich. A string of excellent performances would likely see a greater number of suitors for Vidal if he becomes available in the new year, meaning United may need a leg-up over the competition.
The club has moved away from signing absolute superstars who are in demand. Vidal's arrival would indicate United are real players again, ready to be feared under the new boss. Should the Chilean destroyer fail to show up and the team performs badly, Van Gaal will struggle his way to January before trying to make amends.