Manchester United have moved a step closer to signing world-class midfielder Arturo Vidal after the Chile international’s current employers, Juventus, were granted permission to sign left-back Patrice Evra.
The Express cite Italian sources as claiming Juventus are now ready to accept a £32 million bid for Vidal, who is widely regarded as being one of the world’s finest all-action central midfielders.
Evra leaving Old Trafford
Despite signing a short-term contract extension with the Red Devils in May, Evra has been lured to Turin by the offer of a two-year deal and regular first-team football. Manchester United’s decision to spend £27 million on 18-year-old left-back Luke Shaw appears to have convinced the France international to leave Old Trafford.
Evra will be a significant loss for Louis van Gaal. The 33-year-old, who joined United from AS Monaco in 2006, is one of the most popular and influential members of the squad at Old Trafford. His departure will also mean Van Gaal must recruit another new left-back, with Alexander Buttner having left Old Trafford for Dynamo Moscow this summer.
Juventus ready to sell Vidal?
However, the chance to add 27-year-old Arsenal target Vidal to his ranks will soften the blow for Van Gaal - and every Manchester United supporter, who have been hoping for a marquee signing since last season’s disastrous campaign reached its conclusion.
Ander Herrera and Shaw have already arrived for a joint fee close to £60 million, but the signing of Vidal would be the biggest statement of intent yet from the Red Devils, who finished seventh in the Premier League table last term.
If Juventus are willing to accept a bid for Vidal, it suggests the reigning Italian champions are confident of retaining the services of France international Paul Pogba, who has been linked to a host of clubs in recent months including Manchester United.
Arturo Vidal: The world’s best central midfielder?
Potential Evra replacements
If Van Gaal intends on playing a Netherlands-style 3-4-3 formation at Old Trafford next season, which has been rumoured, there’s a chance that the veteran Dutch coach may not actively look for another left-back to replace Evra.
Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has been strongly linked with a move to the Red Devils. The Belgium international is a natural centre-back, but is comfortable playing in the left full-back position.
However, if Van Gaal does choose to replace Evra, he may launch a bid for Dutch international Daley Blind of Ajax, or Wolfsburg’s impressive young full-back Ricardo Rodriguez, who has also been linked with a move to the Premier League giants.