Manchester United are reported to be considering an offer for Juventus’ Chile international Arturo Vidal in an attempt to strengthen the heavily criticised midfield and revive their top four chances.
Defeat at home to Tottenham on New Year’s Day left David Moyes’ side five points off fourth place Liverpool and 11 points behind leaders Arsenal, and the midfield was once again centre of attentions as Wayne Rooney finished the match shifting back to try and produce something that would pull them level with Spurs.
Vidal has spoken of his happiness in Turin and pledged his future to the Italian champions, although French newspaper Le 10 Sport are reporting that his decision could yet be changed should United break the bank and offer Vidal extremely lucrative contract to see where his loyalties lie.
The 26-year-old, who has made 53 appearances for his nation, has helped Juventus to back-to-back Serie A crowns across the past two seasons, and they look firm favourites for this year’s title as they currently lead the way with a five-point lead over Roma.
Moyes is expected to make a number of moves in January to give his side the boost they clearly need if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League, with the Scot finding life difficult since taking over at Old Trafford last summer following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Vidal has only just signed a new contract last month, meaning his deal with Juventus runs until the summer of 2017. United would therefore need to cough up a large figure just to begin talks with Vidal, so a move at this stage appears to be far from complete.
A more likely move could be a return to his former club Everton in an attempt to sign either Leighton Baines or Ross Barkley. Moyes saw his pursuit of the left-back prove unsuccessful in the summer, with the Toffees turning down United’s approaches which left a bad taste between the two clubs.
A move for Barkley would be less likely, although the England international has been hugely impressive in the first half of the season. Barkley would command a hefty fee for any potential move, although manager Roberto Martinez’s comments that he wouldn’t sell Barkley for £86m weren’t quite on the mark.
Moyes has also been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, and could intensify his attempts to sign the Spaniard should progress with deals for Vidal and Barkley prove hard to come by.