Arsene Wenger has hailed Arturo Vidal as one of the 'best midfielders in the world' in the wake of reports linking the Gunners with a €50m bid for the Chile international.
The Metro carries quotes from Wenger, who describes Vidal in glowing terms while covering the World Cup in Brazil for French television. Arsenal have today been linked with a €50m (£44m) bid for the midfielder, who has also been mentioned as a target for Manchester United - although United have since completed a deal to sign Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.
What he said
Wenger said: "Vidal is one of the best midfielders in the world. He has everything. Incredible stamina, perfect timing. He's a marathon athlete who plays football."
Vidal has been heavily linked with a number of top European clubs, including United and Real Madrid, after another impressive campaign for Serie A-winning Juventus.
The Chilean international has taken that good form into the World Cup, and despite an injury scare in the opening week, he has helped play a key role for Chile in their progression to the last 16.
Arsenal's reported bid
Reports today claimed Arsenal are willing to pay up to £44m to bring Vidal to the Emirates Stadium, an offer that would eclipse the £42.4m they paid Real Madrid to sign Mesut Ozil last summer. That remains the club's record transfer fee paid.
Wenger is expected to have plenty of money to spend to strengthen the squad, but it would be a surprise to see him blow so much of the budget on a central midfielder. A player like Vidal would immediately upgrade the squad, but Arsenal have a greater need to sign a striker to compete with Olivier Giroud.
Manchester United interest
United have been the most serious suitors for Vidal in the Premier League, but following the capture of central midfielder Herrera, they may now look elsewhere in the transfer market.
Today they announced the transfer of Luke Shaw from Southampton, and they're expected to add at least one more centre-back to the squad before the start of preseason.