Arturo Vidal returns late for showdown talks with Juventus

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Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal's fortnight from hell has continued to strain his relationship with the Serie A giants even further, although this time it may not be the Chilean maestro's fault.

Vidal was expected back in Turin this morning after playing 90 minutes for Chile against Bolivia in Coquimbo, but flight delays have forced Juve to wait on their talisman and put back both showdown talks over his conduct and medical checks on a persistent knee injury.

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Tuttosport have today reported that Juve are frustrated that Vidal featured in every minute of a midweek friendly in South America, after taking longer than expected to reach full fitness following his World Cup exertions.

Tough two weeks for Juve's main man

There's no question that Vidal has some work to do to repair his relationship with Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri, delayed flights or otherwise.

Vidal is still in hot water after being snapped scrapping outside a Turin nightclub less than 72 hours before Juve's pivotal Serie A showdown with fierce Scudetto rivals Roma.

Juve benched Vidal as a result and also handed their midfield marvel a whopping €100,000 fine, putting his future in serious doubt.

Allegri has done his best to calm those fears while Vidal's been busy on international duty, but Manchester United and Real Madrid remain seriously interested and are fully expected to test Juve's resolve when the January transfer window opens.

January sale makes sense for Vidal

Vidal's latest misdemeanour got a pretty scathing response from Juve chief Beppe Marotta, with the Old Lady now openly considering if the time is right to cash in on a star who they value at between €65-70 million.

United and Madrid are among a very select group of clubs who could even come close to matching that lofty valuation, plus pay the type of salary that would persuade the 27-year-old to leave his fairly comfortable surroundings for a fresh challenge.

Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has shown he's not afraid to spend big in pursuit of top transfer targets, although United chiefs will almost definitely expect a compromise to reached over that asking price given Vidal's recent track record with injuries.

The next two months are likely to be pivotal in terms of Vidal's future with the Bianconeri, can he recapture top form or will off-field problems coupled with a crazy World Cup workload preventing the ruthless finisher from getting back to his best?

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