Manchester United are ready to make an official bid for Chile and Juventus midfielder, Arturo Vidal, after confirming the $99 million signature of Ángel Di María from Real Madrid. Di María completed an interview for the club channel MUTV before heading back to Manchester airport to catch a flight back to Madrid to collect his family. He is expected to make his debut against Burnley at Turf Moor at the weekend.
Next on United boss Louis van Gaal’s list is Vidal, who has been tracked by United since the World Cup. United have so far stalled on making an official offer for the player, as van Gaal has been reluctant to make a big money offer for a player who underwent serious knee surgery in May. However, van Gaal is said to be pleased with Vidal’s progress and is now ready to bring him to Old Trafford to team up with the other new South American signings, Di María and Marcos Rojo, both of Argentina.
United meet MK Dons in the League Cup tonight, as van Gaal looks to win his first competitive match, despite winning every pre-season friendly. It marks the first time United have appeared in the second round of the competition since 1995. While van Gaal will be at the game, he is said to have told United’s negotiators that that they must sign Vidal before the the transfer window closes in six days.
Although Di María is regarded as one of the best players in the world, United and van Gaal know that the Argentine and the rest of the attackers need protection. Vidal would provide that with his box-to-box, tough-tackling approach. Having failed to win in his first two Premier League games, van Gaal knows time is already against him, as rivals Chelsea and Manchester City have both chalked up six points from their opening two matches.
Should Vidal join Di María at United, van Gaal will look to complete his summer spending by securing a world class central defender to make sure he has real presence in every position. Although Rojo and Luke Shaw have been brought in, both have yet to feature, due to injury and failure to secure a work permit respectively. Van Gaal’s other key signing, Ander Herrera, is also out through injury, meaning the Dutch manager could visit Burnley with a depleted squad, having already done so against Swansea City and Sunderland.
Although United are not expected to win the Premier League, signing Di María will certainly make rival managers take notice that the Old Trafford side are still a good bet to run them close. If United are successful with an offer for Juventus midfielder Vidal, then the dynamics will change greatly. It will mean United will not only have world class players in most positions, there will be quality on the bench as the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Juan Mata, and Javier Hernández all fight for a place with United’s more established players. A victory against MK Dons tonight – however small that may be, followed by a win against Burnley, could give van Gaal’s men that much-needed boost.
Commentary by Robert Shepherd