Manchester United have reportedly had a €43 million bid rejected for Arturo Vidal, according to Italian press. The Red Devils are now expected to make William Carvalho a leading target as we head into the final four days of the summer transfer window.
Perhaps significantly, La Gazzetta Dello Sport indicates the Premier League side have seen their bid, which would come in at approximately £34.2 million, turned down. This comes shortly after the newspaper ran a story indicating United had reached an agreement for the Juventus star, translated via 101 Great Goals.
The same publication translates this latest report, saying the Serie A club have "refused" United's approach. 101 Great Goals tweeted the update:
Juventus specialist Omid Zamani posted his interpretation of La Gazzetta's update on Twitter:
English reports suggest United have turned their attention to Carvalho after Sporting Lisbon "dropped their asking price to £23.8 million," according to Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail. Ladyman believes "it is unlikely" both Vidal and Carvalho will sign for United, meaning Louis van Gaal may need to pick one and go for broke.
United recently concluded a deal for Sporting defender Marcos Rojo, which saw Nani travel the other way on a season-long loan. The two clubs have done plenty of business in the past—with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani heading to Old Trafford from the Portuguese capital—producing a relationship Van Gaal will wish to take advantage of.
Mark Ogden of The Telegraph believes Carvalho has "re-emerged as a target," saying United are ready to "thwart" Arsenal's attempts to sign the player. There was plenty of talk surrounding Carvalho to United early in the summer, but this subsided for the endless links to Vidal. At this stage, it is still thought Van Gaal isn't willing to take a risk on the Chilean due to his consistent knee injuries, per Ogden.
Carvalho would be an excellent signing for United, especially if he can be lured for below £24 million. The Portuguese midfielder offers the size and physicality the club has needed for so long, plus at 22 years old, he has plenty of time to continue developing.
The midfielder is confident on the ball, a tough tackler and dominates in the air. He is able to stride forward with real presence and is used to acting as a defensive shield. Although he doesn't match Vidal's box-to-box energy, the youngster naturally dominates by breaking up play and would offer a sizeable rearguard in front of United's back three.
Van Gaal will most likely know he could do with a handful of midfield acquisitions before the transfer deadline passes at midnight on Sept. 1.
It's inexplicable to see the club struggle so much through the centre, as losses like the 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat to MK Dons are becoming more and more common for United. This was a game where the side's starting lineup simply existed without making a positive impression.
Midfield signings have been needed all summer, and since before Sir Alex Ferguson retired, so supporters are currently feeling the brunt of many failings. Whether Van Gaal can rescue this before Monday remains to be seen, especially as the Dutchman must improve his defensive options.
At this stage, a mega investment in both Vidal and Carvalho should be considered. United cannot afford to shy away from significantly adding to their central options and will likely suffer longer-lasting financial ramifications, such as not making Europe, if they don't make the commitment.