Arturo Vidal and transfer deadline day—two ingredients which mix to make a nail-biting finale to the summer's activity for Manchester United and Juventus fans.
Monday's 11 p.m. BST deadline is rapidly approaching. Although this potential transfer has continued all summer, it seems little progress is being made for the Chilean midfielder.
John Edwards of the Daily Mail believes United have "failed" with a "near-£30 million" bid for the box-to-box destroyer who could solve many of the side's midfield problems.
Contrasting this, Italian newspaper Tuttosport reports United are still working on a £39.5 million deal for the 27-year-old, translated via Metro. Both of the aforementioned articles summarise the saga rather well, offering hope to United fans in one instance before it is quashed elsewhere.
The club are set to confirm a loan deal for Monaco's Radamel Falcao, per BBC Sport's Simon Stone. This is a stunning addition to Louis van Gaal's attacking options, although United's squad is still craving a Vidal-styled player in the middle. Few can replicate his energy between the lines and ability to break up play in the centre, as his natural aggression remains one of the player's greatest attributes.
Elsewhere, attacking midfield sensation Martin Odegaard could be added to the Van Gaal's options, according to Sky Sports News (via 101 Great Goals).
Although the creative starlet would likely stay away from any first-team plans upon arrival, his recent ascension to the Norwegian national squad ensures he could do a job at this stage of his career. However, he isn't a physical or defensive type and wouldn't address the main needs of the squad, despite his obvious talents.
Odegaard is currently playing for Norwegian Premier League side Stromsgodset and is said to have been scouted by "over 30 clubs," per Marcus Christenson of The Guardian. He could face England at Wembley in Wednesday's international friendly, providing many onlookers with their opening glimpse of a player who is set to shine in the coming years.
David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror believes William Carvalho was scouted by United during Sporting Lisbon's recent draw with Benfica. Carvalho's release clause is said to be £37 million, although any buyers could grab him for less due to the clause's expiration next month. McDonnell says United are willing to pay £23 million for the powerhouse midfielder who can also slot into defence, if needed.
Versatility appears to be key to Van Gaal at this point. Recent signings Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Angel Di Maria and the soon-to-be-confirmed Daley Blind, per Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph, can all be deployed in multiple roles. Both Vidal and Carvalho would adhere to this, having proven themselves both in midfield and defence at various points of their careers.
Vidal remains the name who could alter United's fortunes most drastically. Van Gaal, Ed Woodward and the board have done well to capture some exceptional talent this summer, but proceedings won't feel complete unless midfield and defence is plugged.
United have lacked energy and a solid foundation along their winless streak of four games this season, meaning there's plenty of work to do. Van Gaal has begun building his squad and appears to be backed by significant funds, but whether the club has got it in them to land a couple of further vital signings remains to be seen.