Manchester United have a tough task ahead of them. Louis van Gaal needs to rebuild a side that struggled last season under David Moyes, finishing seventh in the Premier League and missing out on European play altogether.
United are perhaps more fortunate than most clubs that hit a brief skid. Their reputation is such that a lack of Champions League play next season is unlikely to dissuade potential signings from coming to Old Trafford. Indeed, they have already signed defender Luke Shaw from Southampton and midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.
But the summer’s work is not yet done. United’s next target looks to be Arturo Vidal, who has excelled at Juventus the past three seasons, in each of which the side won the Serie A title. He also impressed in Chile’s World Cup campaign, despite surgery in May keeping him less than 100 percent fit.
However, if Manchester United want to persuade Juventus to sell one of their team’s most valuable players, they will likely have to part with a hefty fee. The most conservative number out there is £40m (~$70m), with some suggesting the fee could reach £62m (~$106m), which seems, shall we say, high.
Yet Juve know the value of Vidal, a central midfielder with an immense workrate who is capable of breaking up play, creating attacks, and finishing shots. As such, in order to convince them sell, United will need to present a very tempting offer.
It’s theorized that Nani could be included as makeweight, helping make up the difference between Juve’s evaluation and United’s cash offer. That might depend on Nani’s ability to fit into Antonio Conte’s system. The Juventus manager almost always fields his side in a 3-5-2 formation, using wingbacks rather than traditional wingers.
But with Juventus determined to make a deeper run in the Champions League while at the same time securing their fourth straight title, it seems unlikely that they’ll want to lose one of the most vital cogs in their system.