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.