Football

Juan Mata made favourite to replace Arturo Vidal at Juventus

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Juventus will offer Arturo Vidal to Manchester United, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund when the January transfer window opens, with Red Devils playmaker Juan Mata the early favourite to replace him if the price is right.

That is according to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, who devote the front page of their Sunday edition to a story cited by Metro that Vidal will be put up for sale thanks to a change of heart among Juve's top brass on the future of their midfield talisman.

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Injuries plus ill-discipline prompt Vidal u-turn

Juve's shift in attitude on Vidal's future is a surprising contrast from their stubborn resistance to interest from United last summer, with the Bianonceri refusing to negotiate over a much-rumoured £40m deal.

Things have changed for two reasons. Primarily Vidal's conduct has put his place as Juve's crown prince in doubt, after the Chilean maestro was snapped leaving a Turin nightclub at 5.30am last Friday.

The Old Lady fined Vidal €100,000 for his conduct and he was subsequently dropped for Juve's crunch clash with bitter Serie A rivals Roma last weekend.

Beyond that ill-discipline there are still concerns over Vidal's persistent knee problems, which at 27 have likely persuaded Juve it's time to cash in on a much sought-after asset.

Would Mata go the other way?

Massimilano Allegri's side are sure to prompt a fierce transfer tussle between Europe's biggest clubs if Vidal is indeed put on the market, but their interest in Mata could help United win the race for his signature.

Juve are reportedly willing to lower Vidal's value to £27.5 million if it means Mata can be included in the deal, which gives Louis van Gaal a difficult decision to make over his Spanish schemer.

Mata earns around £150,000-a-week and was United's then club-record £37.1m signing in January, but has been regularly left on the subs bench already this season and could get frustrated fast if Wayne Rooney is played in his preferred number 10 role.

Van Gaal is ready to splash the cash again in January, but it remains to be seen if he'll give the green light to one of the most sensational swap deals in the club's history.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Juan Mata
Premier League
Football

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