It has been one of the transfer sagas of the summer, but it appears Arturo Vidal will not be joining Manchester United during the transfer window, with Juventus claiming they have never had any intention of letting him leave the club.
Enrico Passarella of GianlucaDiMarzio.com quotes Juve CEO Giuseppe Marotta talking to Sky Sport about their stance on Vidal, explaining the Old Lady have never courted a transfer for the player and that the attention has been driven by the press:
There have been the usual rumours about him, but he has never been put on the transfer market and there has never been a negotiation. These are the usual commonplaces created by the media that have no real confirmations.
Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star also quotes Marotta confirming that Vidal himself does not want a move and is happy to stay with the Italian champions: "Vidal has always said he wanted to stay here and we are more than happy to keep him."
The news will be yet another bitter blow for United fans who crave a marquee signing from Ed Woodward and Louis van Gaal.
The team have already suffered their first defeat of the season at home to Swansea last Saturday, and there is a real craving from the faithful for a big-name player to be added to the squad.
The Chilean superstar has been a sensation at Juventus since his arrival from the Bundesliga, with his reputation as one of the finest midfielders in the game growing every year.
Last season, the player was in his usual rampant form both at home and away. In his 39 starts in Serie A and Europe, Vidal hit an impressive 18 goals, per WhoScored.com, a fantastic total for a box-to-box midfielder.
He would have brought so much to the table for Van Gaal if he had signed, but it now seems that pipe dream will burn out and fade away.
The failure to acquire a top transfer mirrors United's activity in the market from recent years, and a worrying trend is present for all to see. Nooruddean Choudry of the Mirror highlighted United's inability to move for the big names at the right times:
Summer 2014: When Toni Kroos, Arturo Vidal and Cesc Fabregas were all available at the right price and MUFC didn't make a single offer.— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) August 19, 2014
The transfer window is now only days away from its closure, and Van Gaal will be forced to perform miracles with a squad that is broken by underinvestment and a lack of true star quality.
The Red Devils are well stocked in the attacking half of the field for players with match-winning potential, but the midfield and defence do not look like top-four quality.
Woodward has failed the club since his arrival as executive vice-chairman after David Gill's exit, and his three transfer windows have been underwhelming. Of course, it is a difficult job trying to purchase the world's very best talent, but United's competitors have had no issues in doing just that in recent times.
Will Manchester United finish outside of the top four after a weak transfer window?
If the Glazer family and Woodward have any ambitions to match their rivals on the pitch in the Premier League this season, they certainly have not shown it this summer.
United may be the biggest commercial entity in world football, but that will count for nothing if the team slides towards mid-table.