Louis van Gaal has told Manchester United to meet the asking price of Arturo Vidal after months of failing to negotiate a lower fee, reports The Independent.
The Old Trafford chief has been reluctant to meet the £34 million asking price due to concerns over Vidal's long-term fitness. The 27-year-old has suffered knee problems in the past, making the big outlay too risky for Manchester United.
The fact remains that Vidal has not started a Serie A game since March and was played four times with the knee injury before it was operated on. It was obvious the player was not fully fit in Brazil, where he represented Chile at the World Cup.
However, Vidal remains Van Gaal's top transfer target - the manager dropped his name twice in a recent press conference - and is ready to make the deal work with a complex contract offer.
Van Gaal believes he can spread the risk of signing Vidal out by offering the Chile international a complex contract based on appearances and on-field success. Whether Vidal would be willing to accept such a deal is unknown.
£200 million barrier
A deal for Vidal would take Manchester United's spending above and beyond the £200 million barrier since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2012. It would also be the third time Ferguson's transfer record had been broken since his abdication.
Juan Mata became Manchester United's record signing in January, which is soon to be trumped by Angel Di Maria. Vidal would also beat Dimitar Berbatov's fee of £31 million - Ferguson's most expensive signing.
With just days left to sign players, Van Gaal knows he cannot afford to put all his eggs in one basket and has planned accordingly. Both Daley Blind and Nigel De Jong are considered alternatives should a deal for Vidal fail to materialise.
Van Gaal wants to move on quickly from the Di Maria deal and seal a tough tackling midfielder to sure up the team's defensive frailties.
The signing of Di Maria will go a long way to convincing Vidal that Manchester United are serious about reigniting their Premier League credentials. After picking up one point from two relatively easy games against Swansea and Sunderland, fans and officials are fearing a second consecutive season outside of the Champions League.
Failing to make the top four will not only be financially stressful for Manchester United, but would be a further blow in their ability to attract top talent to Old Trafford. Signing Di Maria and Vidal would go a long way to avoiding the problem.