New Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has got fans hopeful of an incredible resurgence, but losing Arturo Vidal to Liverpool would undo all of his hard work.
So intense has the speculation regarding Vidal and Manchester United been, it seemed only a matter of time before the Chilean joined the Red Devils. It was a perfect match; Manchester United are in dire need of a midfield enforcer and Vidal wants a new challenge. What could go wrong?
Being Juventus' best player, it is no surprise that negotiations between Manchester United officials and their Turin counterparts are taking their time. It isn't clear exactly how much Juventus want for the player, but one figure reports keep coming back to is £42.5 million.
The fact that Antonio Conte walked out of the Juventus Stadium would have slowed things down as well. Van Gaal is now in the USA with the Manchester United team meaning no deal is likely to be close.
Late Liverpool interest
Enter Liverpool, who have new financial strength after agreeing the £75 million sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. Rodgers wants a marquee signing to replace him. Vidal wouldn't just be a marquee signing, but would poop all over the Van Gaal arrival party at Old Trafford.
They have genuine interest in the Chilean and, worrying for Van Gaal, the player seems to be interested in a move to Anfield.
Manchester United fans would be forgiven for thinking Vidal was a foregone conclusion. The idea of him joining another Premier League club is unthinkable, let alone their archrivals Liverpool.
He was supposed to be the key cog to getting Manchester United back to the top of the Premier League. Van Gaal even admitted he had always wanted to sign Vidal and, given the confidence of the Dutchman, few doubted he would get his man.
Anfield: The more attractive option?
Liverpool have a huge advantage on Manchester United in the race for Vidal: Champions League football. No European football will be present at Old Trafford next season while we will all be treated to a famous Champions League night at Anfield once again.
Any footballer would like to be playing for Liverpool with the Kop in full swing and they are never swinging harder than on European nights. Vidal will know that and he will be tempted.
The bubble bursts
Hope is spilling itself all over the walls of Old Trafford. Van Gaal oozed confidence and authority during his opening press conference. He looked the real deal. He looked like the man to rebuild Manchester United, but missing out on a key target to Liverpool would turn him from a prophet to a fallacy. It would break morale around Old Trafford before it had much chance to rebuild from last season's decimation.
Not only would Liverpool be getting an excellent player, capable of protecting a leaky defence, they would also deliver a significant blow to a club they really could do with keeping quiet. If Manchester United are allowed to rebuild, Liverpool are the most likely candidate to drop out of the top four in their place. Rodgers can't let that happen.
Vidal should be Rodgers's top priority, not just for reasons on the pitch, but off of it too.
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