Manchester United's quest to sign Arturo Vidal is allegedly moving closer to a conclusion, according to various reports.
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail believes Juventus are happy to consider selling their monstrous midfielder if a deal includes Javier Hernandez, whose United future has remained uncertain across the past year. Jones suggests a transfer "worth £36 million and two players, one of them Hernandez," can snatch Vidal away from the Turin-based club.
Jones progresses this report by also quoting Eduardo Hernandez, Chicharito's agent, who indicates an update on his client's future is coming imminently: "For now I cannot comment on the situation. I have no news at the moment on an exchange, I haven't spoken to anyone in England, but there will be news soon."
Should Manchester United consider swapping Javier Hernandez and another player for Arturo Vidal?
Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star indicates some bookmakers have suspended betting on Vidal's arrival, while prices as little as 1-10 are being offered. Of course, an influx of bids from optimistic punters can force this to happen, so shortened odds shouldn't be taken as a gospel sign of the player's future.
A Vidal-Hernandez swap is likely enticing for both clubs, who can address weaknesses by landing the other player. Vidal's hardworking, tough-tackling nature is needed to bolster United's midfield, despite the recent signing of Ander Herrera. Vidal offers energy in a box-to-box role and the ability to complete both attacking and defensive duties to an exceptional standard.
Herrera certainly commits himself to tackles and is an excellent distributor of the ball, but his slight frame doesn't improve United's sense of physicality.
Chicharito could also offer Juventus the out-and-out finisher they so desperately need. Massimiliano Allegri has considerable striking talent such as Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente at his disposal, but the Serie A champions are craving someone to take advantage of chances inside the opposition's area.
It is unlikely Hernandez will be able to oust Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie from their starting roles at Old Trafford, but he could break into the Juve team with little problem. The striker's international career has stuttered over the past year—highlighted by his failure to start a game for Mexico at the World Cup—indicating Hernandez's future may become brighter with a refresh.
Miguel Herrera, national manager with Mexico, believes Hernandez should consider joining the Old Lady, as reported by Jeff Carlisle of ESPN.co.uk: "I think [Chicharito] needs to leave. I think [Juventus] would be a good option for him. When a coach doesn't want you - when you have your best experience, your best moment with them, and now the coach that wanted you is no longer there - it's time to move."
United would be wise to include someone of Hernandez's stature in any deal for Vidal. Not only will it lessen the transfer fee, the striker's presence certainly softens the deal for Juve. Louis van Gaal can also open up a striking spot in his squad for a signing of his choice, providing the perfect opportunity for the new boss to further stamp his authority.
The Red Devils could be forced to turn elsewhere when improving their prospects.
Greg O'Keeffe of the Liverpool Echo reports quotes from the Spaniard, who insists McCarthy isn't going anywhere:
Martinez dismisses links between James McCarthy and #MUFC saying there's nothing to it. "He's one of the best midfielders in the PL."— Greg O'Keeffe (@GregOK) August 14, 2014
Van Gaal has a little over two weeks before the transfer deadline arrives at midnight on September 1. He may need to be inventive if Vidal is to arrive—perhaps by throwing in Hernandez and another star as makeweights—but whatever his preference, a decision needs to happen soon.
Many United fans are waiting nervously for any snippet of news in a saga that appears endless. It's an all-too-familiar feeling after last summer's lack of signings, indicating the current squad will have to work extremely hard if the team is to regain its place among the European elite.