Arturo Vidal remains a Juventus player - that is one thing in this transfer saga we can be absolutely sure of. But for how long? Every new day brings another development, although Manchester United are running out of time if they are to conclude a deal.
Hope for Manchester United?
Juventus manager Max Allegri moved to rule out a transfer on Friday, claiming that Vidal is “going nowhere”. He would say that, of course; the Italian can’t be seen to show any public sign of weakness.
Manchester United supporters are unlikely to have given up hope of recruiting Vidal, regardless of Allegri’s forthright comments, given the way the story has gone back and forth for the duration of the summer.
There now appears to be yet more reason to be optimistic following a comment emerging from the player himself, who was asked by a Juventus supporter what the future does indeed hold as the transfer deadline nears.
"My future is to train well..." was Vidal’s concise response, and one he is reported to have uttered with a little smirk.
The Express carries the quote, and they claim it is something of a hint from Vidal that he could well secure a move to Old Trafford within the next couple of weeks. We will have to see on that one.
In terms of the financial specifics, the latest reports state that Manchester United are indeed in discussions with Juventus have been informed they must increase their offer of £40 million if a deal is to be done.
Manchester United will have to outlay a club record transfer fee to conclude a deal for Vidal, and there is no doubt they need a player of his quality in their midfield to really sustain a title challenge this season.
Watch: The latest Manchester United transfer news
A player needed
The 27-year-old Chile international has established himself among the elite midfielders in Europe over the past couple of seasons, with his combative style and goalscoring ability are matched by few others in his position.
For some time Manchester United have missed a player of Vidal’s talents, someone able to contribute significantly around both penalty areas, and this type of midfielder is needed in order to allow Ander Herrera to flourish fully.
Darren Fletcher performed well in this position during pre-season, so much so that the Scotland international has been appointed vice-captain, but he is not the long-term option that Louis van Gaal requires.
There are, however, doubts over Vidal’s fitness after he went under the knife in May to correct a meniscus problem in his right knee before the World Cup, and Manchester United will do their due diligence before a prospective transfer is finalised.