It seemed like 31-year-old Arturo Vidal would be headed back to Serie A, but oh how things can change in the course of a few days.
With Inter appearing to close in on the Chilean international, Barcelona swooped in and snatched Vidal out from under the Italian club’s nose, reportedly completing the deal for $35 million.
Vidal has won a league title in each of his last seven seasons, the last three at Bayern Munich and the four prior at Serie A giants Juventus. The midfielder has proven his world-class status time and again, as a rock in the midfield for both clubs and in exactly 100 caps for his country. However, injuries last season limited him to just 22 Bundesliga appearances, pushing Bayern to let him go.
The Chilean will serve as a direct replacement for Paulinho, who was stellar in his year at Barcelona before returning to the Chinese top flight. Paulinho struggled mightily in the World Cup with Brazil, and was then shipped back to Chinese club Guanzhou Evergrande a year after leaving.
Meanwhile, at Bayern, the rise of Corentin Tolisso made Vidal expendable, with the French international proving a viable option for title-hungry club. Between Tolisso, Thiago, Sebastian Rudy, Javi Martinez, and the versatile Joshua Kimmich, Bayern will be just fine in the middle of the pitch.
Vidal’s capture pushed Barcelona’s expenditure this summer over $130 million, having already secured French defender Clement Lenglet, plus Brazilian duo Malcom and Arthur.