Arsenal are ready to challenge Premier League rivals Manchester United for the signature of world-class midfielder Arturo Vidal by submitting a £44 million offer to Juventus for the Chile international. The 27-year-old recently admitted that his future in Turin was uncertain - and the Gunners appear to be one step ahead of United in the race to secure his services.
News of the £44 million bid comes courtesy of the Metro, who say sources in Vidal’s native Chile believe Arsenal are hoping to strike a deal for the tenacious midfielder ahead of the start of the 2014/15 campaign.
Vidal wants Champions League football
The Gunners have one crucial advantage over Manchester United in the race for Vidal: Champions League football. The Juventus star has reportedly made it clear that he has no desire of signing for a club not in Europe’s premier club competition.
United, after finishing last season’s Premier League campaign in seventh position, will not be able to offer Vidal the opportunity to continue playing in the Champions League - at least during the forthcoming campaign - but hope to bounce back to the elite-level competition at the first attempt by securing a top-four finish under Louis van Gaal next term.
Arsenal, on the other hand, secured Champions League football for the 17th consecutive season back in May - and, of course, finally ended their nine-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup final in the same month.
Vidal: My future is unclear
Last week, Vidal revealed his uncertainty over whether he will still be a Juventus player come the start of next season, offering hope to Arsenal that a deal to bring the South American to the Emirates Stadium this summer is not beyond the realms of possibility.
"Will I stay at Juventus? I do not know, I just think about the World Cup and the national team now," he told reporters while on international duty at the World Cup finals in Brazil. "After the World Cup we will see what will be my future.”
Do Arsenal need Vidal?
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger knows that an injection of quality in key areas is crucial if the Gunners are to build on last season’s success and close the gap on the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. Furthermore, Wenger needs a top-level midfielder to replace the ever-injured About Diaby, while Mikel Arteta could leave the Emirates Stadium for Athletic Bilbao.
Arsenal have around £100 million to spend in the current transfer window, and after paying a club-record £42.5 million fee to sign German playmaker Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid last summer, a similar bid for Vidal - another world-class performer - shouldn’t be ruled out of the equation.
Will Juventus sell?
Juventus will, for obvious reasons, be reluctant to part company with one of their key midfielders this summer. However, if Vidal wants to leave Juventus and the Italian giants manage to retain the services of Paul Pogba, there’s a chance Arsenal could get their man.
But would the Gunners be able to fend off stiff competition from Manchester United, as well as the likes of Real Madrid? Arsenal fans will be hoping Wenger can work his magic in the transfer window once more.
Arsenal fans: do you think Vidal will sign for the Gunners this summer? Watch this video for a taster of what you might be seeing at the Emirates Stadium next season.