Updates from Friday, Aug. 29
Arturo Vidal will start Juventus' Serie A clash with Chievo on Saturday, marking his return to full fitness.
Massimo Allegri confirmed, via Juve's official Twitter:
Allegri: “Vidal’s trained well this week, his knee’s in good condition and he will start tomorrow night." #ChievoJuve— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 29, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 21
Arturo Vidal's fitness has been confirmed ahead of the new season, as Juventus prepare for the defence of their Serie A title.
CEO Beppe Marotta told Sky Sport, per Enrico Passarella of gianlucadimarzio.com:
Vidal is fine, he resumed working and the knee is fully functional. He’s at disposal of the team.
Juventus have received a major boost in their buildup to the 2014-15 campaign after manager Massimiliano Allegri revealed that Arturo Vidal will be fit to feature in their Serie A opener next week.
Speaking in the wake of his side's 5-0 drubbing of Singapore Selection, Allegri told reporters that "Arturo Vidal will be in the team next week against Chievo," per ESPN FC.
The Chilean underwent surgery on his right knee in May and has been been fighting for fitness ever since, nearly managing to attain sufficient form in time for the 2014 World Cup.
Juve are hoping to win a fourth successive Scudetto this term, the previous three having all been won under the management of Antonio Conte, now helmsman of the Italian national team.
Vidal's impact during that domestic dominance has been pivotal, his contributions alongside the likes of Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo in the Bianconeri midfield standing as one of the club's biggest strengths.
During his recovery, Vidal has also been surrounded by transfer speculation, the most fervent of which continues to link his services with Manchester United. However, Allegri is quoted by Rob Dawson of the Manchester Evening News in being confident his midfield general will remain:
Max Allegri has been talking about Arturo Vidal. "It's normal that there are rumours about him. But Vidal is already in a great team." #MUFC— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonMEN) August 18, 2014
Louis van Gaal opened his account as a Premier League manager with a loss on Saturday, suffering a home defeat to Swansea City that will undoubtedly mount further pressure on the club to sign players.
Chile boss Jorge Sampaoli spoke to Chilean newspaper El Mercurio (h/t the Daily Mirror's Ben Burrows) earlier this month, saying a deal for Vidal to move to Old Trafford is done, but his knee is the obstacle at present: "The problem in Vidal's transfer from Juventus to Manchester United for 80 million dollars is the doubt that Van Gaal has with respect to the improvement of Arturo's knee."
It's understandable that the Red Devils would be apprehensive over a deal, forking out such massive figures only to see the effect of their purchase limited by something so preventable.
The Serie A champions will be adamant to keep ahold of Vidal's talents, and as Allegri seeks to stamp his own mark on the club's success, it's vital that the existing gems of the squad perform under the new boss just as they did under the previous regime.
As things stand, though, Juventus fans will merely be glad to hear that their star will feature in the first league game of the campaign as they seek to assert their place on the Italian throne once again.