Manchester United's decision to end their interest in Arturo Vidal over fears about his long-term fitness could prove to be a mistake, after Chile national team coach Jorge Sampaoli claimed the midfielder's knee is in "perfect" condition.
The 27-year-old Juventus playmaker was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford during the summer, with the Daily Express reporting that the Premier League giants had even considered a £40 million deadline day bid for the player's services.
However, Louis van Gaal decided against proceeding with negotiations amid concerns Vidal was still suffering from an ongoing knee problem, which allegedly flared up again while on international duty this week.
Sampaoli has moved to allay any fears regarding the Serie 'A' star's fitness, insisting that the Manchester United target is fit and ready for action.
Jorge Sampaoli quotes:
"If Vidal wasn't in a condition to play, Juventus wouldn't have given him to us," he explained on Friday, as quoted by Four Four Two. "Today his knee is perfect."
Van Gaal opted instead to complete a deal for versatile Dutch star Daley Blind from Ajax, one of six new faces to arrive at Old Trafford over the summer.
Manchester United transfer latest
The £59.7 million British transfer record deal to sign Angel di Maria from Real Madrid was one of the most exciting acquisitions, along with the season-long loan capture of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao on deadline day.
All in all, Red Devils fans will be pleased about the £150 million worth of business completed but might hold some regrets over the failed pursuit of Vidal if it indeed turns out that his problematic knee was nothing to worry about at all.