Serie A giants Juventus would be taking a huge risk if they decide to sell star midfielder Arturo Vidal to Manchester United with less than a week of the transfer window remaining.
The Chilean, who after starring for his country at the World Cup in Brazil has been strongly linked to Louis Van Gaal’s struggling side, may still yet leave Turin with Javier Hernandez heading in the opposite direction.
United’s interest in the 27-year-old had reportedly cooled, but now the transfer could be back on following the club’s latest dire outing against Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.
With Van Gaal having closed a blockbuster deal to sign Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid, the Dutchman could look to strengthen further with a bulldozing midfielder top of his wish list.
There is interest in Roma’s Kevin Strootman but with the midfielder having been injured since March any possible bid may have to be made in January once all fears over his fitness are allayed.
Vidal’s form has been crucial in the Old Lady’s recent spell of domestic domination, with his goal return particularly impressive.
Despite Juan Mata enjoying a low-key hot streak the Manchester side have failed to boast a goalscoring midfielder since Paul Scholes – something that was highlighted across the border by the sheer class of Manchester City’s Yaya Toure last campaign.
Bayern Munich were another said to be interested in his services having sold Toni Kroos to Real Madrid, but could re-enter negotiations with the Spanish club for Sami Khedira instead.
So constant were the reports linking Vidal to Old Trafford that the deal appeared a certainty – but Ed Woodward’s decision to move for defender Marcos Rojo and Di Maria has complicated business.
Even if a fee is agreed then Juventus would have less than a week to draft in a suitable replacement, with top sides unlikely to part with valuable assets in haste for exactly the same reason.
There had been murmurs earlier this month that Marouane Fellaini would be included in any potential deal, but the Belgian’s recent injury has derailed any hopes of an end to his Old Trafford nightmare.
They already boast a plethora of midfield genius in the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio but Vidal’s exit would leave them one midfielder short on the eve of the new Serie A season.
Having focused on snaring either Lukas Podolski of Arsenal or Xherdan Shaqiri of Bayern Munich it would also call for a quick change of transfer strategy and see them miss out on strengthening in one of the areas where an investment is needed most.
An exciting week lies ahead with United and Juventus set to clash over Vidal’s future.
Selling the Chilean would be a huge gamble, and the champions of Italy would do well to postpone the transfer until January to ensure any possible replacement is well and truly sounded out first.
If not it could be a mistake that defines Massimiliano Allegri’s spell at the club, and whether he can continue their spell of dominance or be the man to end it.