Could the Barcelona man be on his way to Manchester United this January?
When Barcelona signed Paulinho in 2017 from Guangzhou Evergrande, they became a subject of a joke for signing a near-finished player. To add further to their misery, the Brazilian midfielder was a player whose characteristics and abilities nowhere matched to what Barcelona midfielders possessed.
When you talk about the Xavi’s, the Guardiolas, the Iniesta’s, one common thread each player had was exceptional on-the-ball qualities and the ability to create numerous chances and play defence-splitting balls. These were the players that made the Blaugrana’s tiki-taka intimidating and effective.
Whereas, Paulinho was a known to be physical animal in the middle of the park who can run throughout the pitch, occasionally supporting the attack by providing extra menace and sometimes giving the additional and much needed defensive cover at the back. Barcelona knew that they went beyond the norm and signed a player not suited for their usual style.
To everyone’s surprise, the entire Paulinho operation turned out to be extremely successful with the player scoring 9 times in 49 games and providing steely performances in the midfield. Paulinho left on loan and eventually signed back for Guangzhou.
Learning from the entire Paulinho saga, Barcelona were quick to understand the importance of a player with tremendous physical abilities and signed Arturo Vidal in 2018. Vidal was a player matching Paulinho’s credentials but exceeded Paulinho in overall skills and quality. Vidal too had a fruitful debut season with the Spanish giants but the road was tough at the beginning.
Vidal had to wait for his turn and was vocal about the lack of playing time during the initial months of last season. Vidal’s complaints of lack of playing time continued but he proved to be a very valuable addition to the team. The Chilean has always wanted to be a starter for the La Liga champions, but the coach has never been able to promise Vidal that.
The on and off relationship due to Vidal’s lack of playing time has continued this season too with Vidal now threatening the club that he will leave in January if not given regular playing minutes. Arturo Vidal has only clocked 515 minutes of footballing action as Ernesto Valverde prefers Frenkie De Jong, Arthur and Sergio Busquets above Vidal.
According to Fox Sports Australia, Manchester United have reportedly made contact with Barcelona’s midfield engine and it appears they could pinch him for a cheap deal. To the frustration of the 2015 Copa America winner has just started 3 La Liga games this season and is very unhappy with the limited game time he is getting. Vidal is believed to be open to a move away from the Nou Camp.
Manchester United have made contact with Arturo Vidal’s agent Fernando Felicevich and it has been claimed that Barca would be willing to part ways with him should they receive a sum of around £13million. The Red Devils are short of players in the middle of the park after letting Ander Herrera leave for free in the summer for PSG.
Nemanja Matic remains linked to Inter Milan and Paul Pogba’s future remains unsettled. Arturo Vidal could be a valuable addition to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer side offering the physical dominance and the beast attitude that is crucial in the Premier League. United aren’t taking a huge risk and are placing their bets on a proven commodity- a high-end engine they always wanted.
Vidal killed it for Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona and now Manchester United remain eager to get their hands on the midfield monster. Do you think Vidal will move to Old Trafford?