Updates from Sunday, Sept. 7
ESPN's Staff provides a statement from Arturo Vidal discussing his injury status:
The 27-year-old then played the full match as Chile drew 0-0 with El Tri and he told reporters afterwards that his knee was '100 percent recovered,' adding: 'I had a good preseason and I'm happy. I'm content because I proved I can play a full match without problems.'
Sources told ESPN FC during the summer that Manchester United had been reluctant to sanction a big-money deal for Vidal due to concerns over the state of his knee.
Updates from Friday, Sept. 5
Vidal took to Twitter Friday, to tell fans that his knee is perfect, and asked people to stop inventing stories:
Arturo Vidal @kingarturo23
Mi rodilla está perfecta. Por favor dejen de inventar. Informen bien. Vamos Chile! http://t.co/rLKYJRE7zS2014-9-5 15:57:59
According to reports in Chile, Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal has injured his knee on international duty for La Roja and could miss a major chunk of the 2014/15 season, per Anthony Chapman of the Daily Express.
Vidal was heavily linked to a move away from Juventus during the summer transfer window, with Manchester United one of the most rumoured destinations, as John Edwards of the Daily Mail reported.
Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri denied in an interview with Sky Italia, according to Sky Sports' Nadia Carminati, that the 27-year-old was ever close to leaving the club.
"Vidal? He was never on the market," he said. "The club told me from the start that he would stay."
Goal's Kris Voakes thought the reigning three-time champions did some of the best business of any top European club simply by holding onto Vidal and fellow midfield maestro Paul Pogba:
Kris Voakes @krisvoakes
#Juventus' biggest success of the transfer window... They've still got Arturo #Vidal & Paul #Pogba! #GoalTZ2014-9-1 22:03:13
Now, Juventus are looking worse for wear for having kept him, while Manchester United are thanking their lucky stars that a transfer wasn't finalized.
Few players are more important for Juve's Serie A title defense than Vidal, especially with Andrea Pirlo hitting 35 years old. His ability to do a little bit of everything in the midfield makes him one of the most well-rounded players in the world.
Without the Chilean in the lineup, the club will inevitably struggle to hold onto the top spot.