It appears the prolonged chase of transfer target Arturo Vidal has come to an end for Manchester United as Juventus announced today they will not be selling the midfielder.
News of the Serie A side’s unwillingness to part with the 27-year-old came from Juventus chief executive officer, Giuseppe Marotta, who explained that Vidal is “not for sale” and that the player expressed his contentment to remain in Turin.
The news will provide relief to Bianconeri supporters, who in the past 24-hours have seen their beloved Antonio Conte resign and former Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri hired. The loss of Conte, who spent 13 years at Juventus as a player before assuming the managerial reigns in 2011 and guiding Juve to three straight scudettos, was believed to be due to financial constraints preventing the club from keeping its best players and acquiring new talent.
With Conte out, popular conjecture was that Vidal and fellow midfielder Paul Pogba would follow suit on big money transfers out of Turin. Vidal quickly emerged as a top target of Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, who tried to sign the Chilean midfielder in 2011 when he was manager of Bayern Munich. With reports of van Gaal’s willingness to spend $55 million to acquire Vidal, the transfer was thought to be nearing an inevitability.
But that line of thought came to a crashing halt this afternoon when Marotta spoke to reporters (via The Guardian):
“Vidal is not for sale. He is one of the most important players in the squad. He is happy to be here. Many things have been written. We’ve never put him up for sale. Important clubs have asked after him, but we have never sat down to talk. The player decides and yesterday Vidal showed that he is happy to continue with us.”
With Vidal seemingly off the racks, expect the clamor around Pogba to ramp up. The French midfielder is reportedly a $103 million target of Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho eager to beef up his midfield. Pogba, who was seen in West London earlier today, was a youth player at Manchester United but left at the end of his contract in 2012 after falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Another Yank youngster has landed in Germany.
Weston McKinnie, 18, has starred for the United States U-20 team as well as FC Dallas’ Academy, and has been in demand.
[ MORE: Americans Abroad news ]
The club is Schalke, a Bundesliga outfit which has had an exceptional offseason. McKinnie joins the U-19 side, and is billed by Schalke as a midfielder who “can be deployed as part of a two-man central midfield or in the number 10 role.”
“He’s a player who convinced us with his robustness and game awareness,” said academy director Oliver Ruhnert. “In the US he is one of the best footballers for his age. He is also a youth national team player and has also captained his team. He brings a lot of qualities with him, especially to the mental side of his game. We are therefore convinced that Weston is capable of becoming a professional footballer. The transfer therefore makes a lot of sense.”
McKinnie, if you haven’t read his name before, is absolutely one to remember. The Schalke man joins a club with a good track record for Americans. Chad Deering, Thomas Dooley, and David Wagner have also represented the United States for the Miners.
Deadline Day was kinda nuts, am I right?
There’s a lot to digest, and we’ve covered a lot of it in this space.
But in case you need more — and who doesn’t want a bit more Premier League? — we’ve got a stream of Wednesday’s TV show covering the deadline, and the 2 Robbies talking transfers.
LISTEN: The 2 Robbies Transfer Deadline Day podcast
REWATCH: Wednesday’s Deadline Day show
Now onto the business of the Premier League’s nascent season. Who was boosted by today’s moves? Who took a hit?
She has the seventh-most caps and the sixth-most assists in United States women’s national team history, and she’s also calling it a day.
Excelle Sports is reporting that Heather O’Reilly is retiring at the age of 31. The FC Kansas City player will likely play her final match in September, as the 2015 champs have all-but been eliminated from the playoffs.
[ MORE: Five big Deadline Day signings ]
O’Reilly had 230 caps, 46 goals, and 54 assists for the USWNT team. She’s one of only a few players to have more than 45 goals and 50 assists (Julie Foudy, Tiffeny Milbrett, Shannon MacMillan, Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly).
One of many successful products of Anson Dorrance’s UNC program, “HAO” spent her club career with New Jersey Wildcats, Sky Blue FC, and Boston Breakers before joining FCKC.
O’Reilly was left off the Olympic roster this summer, named as an alternate. She could’ve been useful — of course hindsight is 20/20 — and it’ll be odd watching more USWNT matches without HAO.
Two mainstays of the international game are done with that part of their career following shutout wins on Wednesday, just two of several friendlies early in this international break.
[ MORE: Five big Deadline Day signings ]
Germany 2-0 Finland
Max Meyer picked up from his remarkable Olympics by firing home, and Mesut Ozil also scored for the Germans in a match that was not about the winner. Bastian Schweinsteiger called it a day on his international career in the win, his 121st cap. The Manchester United man finishes his career with 24 goals, a World Cup title and a EURO runner-up finish. Not too shabby.
Ireland 4-0 Oman
ROI all-time leading scorer Robbie Keane fittingly ended his tenure as an international player with yet another goal, bringing his career tally to 68 goals in 146 caps. Stoke City’s Jon Walters scored twice for the Boys in Green, and Robbie Brady (Norwich) also netted in the win.
Denmark 5-0 Liechtenstein
It took the hosts a half-hour to break down the visitors, but a pair from Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen opened the floodgates and Andreas Cornelius, Viktor Fischer and Jens Stryger Larsen finished the scoring in a blowout at the CASA Arena in Horsens. It was Larsen’s first cap.
Turkey 0-0 Russia
Albania 0-0 Morocco
Estonia 1-1 Malta
Norway 0-1 Belarus
Lebanon 1-1 Jordan