After a long summer of speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United, Juventus are now ready to sanction the transfer of midfielder Arturo Vidal, according to reports in Italy. Rumors of the Chile international moving to Old Trafford eventually came to nothing, but his future has now been called into fresh scrutiny following disciplinary measures taken against him over the weekend.
Leading sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that Vidal was fined 100,000 euros (£79,000) after going out into the early hours of Friday morning and subsequently turning up late for training. As a result he was also left out of the starting lineup by new coach Massimiliano Allegri for Juventus’ top-of-the-table clash with Roma on Sunday. The issue will not end there, though, according to Gazzetta, with Juventus now said to have lost patience with a man who has been key to them winning three successive Serie A titles. Accordingly, they will now look to cash in on him next summer, or possibly even in January. The Turin side are not, though, said to be willing to part with him on the cheap, with an asking price established of 45 million euros (£35 million) for the 27-year-old.
Louis van Gaal brought Dutch compatriot Daley Blind into his squad to bolster Manchester United’s midfield, yet it is an area where the club is still not exactly flush for options. While Vidal’s apparent love for the nightlife may concern United, he has not had any reoccurrence of a knee injury that required an operation at the end of last season.
Manchester United may also decide to spend big on another player returning from a knee injury at the start of this season. United brought Radamel Falcao to the club on an expensive season-long loan on transfer-deadline day, with an option to make the deal permanent for £43 million. The Colombian got off the mark for his new club when scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over Everton on Sunday and he has again reiterated that he wants to remain at Old Trafford for the long term.
“All strikers need goals, and for me there was a little bit of relief to score my first goal,” he told MUTV afterward. “I hope to score many in the future. It was amazing that my first goal was at Old Trafford, I enjoyed it with all the fans and I want to say thank you to God, my team mates, all the staff and the coaches. Me and my family are happy here, and we would like to stay for many years at Manchester United.”
An even bigger outlay would be required were Manchester United to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club. Speculation continues about the possibility of the Real Madrid star rejoining the side he left for a then record £80 million in 2009. Such a deal looks unlikely given that Ronaldo signed a new five-year deal last year to make him the then world’s highest-paid player and he is currently enjoying some of the best form of his career, having scored his third hat-trick in four league games on Sunday. Still, the Daily Star believes that United will have no competition for his signature, with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain balking at the expenditure involved in arranging a deal.
The Star also reports, though, that Manchester United have discussed making a move for Ronaldo’s Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale. The Welshman superseded Ronaldo as the world’s most expensive player when moving from Tottenham last summer, at a time when it was reported that United were also interested. The story cites reports in Spain that Bale’s performances this season have been a concern for coach Carlo Ancelotti. It is hard to believe there is anything to this story, however, with Bale praised by Ancelotti just this weekend and the 25-year-old having scored five goals and added four assists this season.