The 13th of July brought a satisfying end to what was a hugely successful and fun FIFA World Cup 2014. The incredible football matches came thick and fast and featured end to end football, resilient defending and penalty shootout heartbreak.
While the fans dealt with their disappointments and enjoyed their successes, football clubs all across Europe shifted a gear as they bid to prepare for their respective league seasons. The transfer window was well and truly open-calls are made, faxes are sent, agents are negotiated with and ultimately millions are spent.
The transfer window also coincides with fans desperately catching up on the latest transfer gossip – who’s going where and for how much? and looking up videos of players their clubs have been linked to on YouTube.
There always also seems to be a transfer that captures the imagination and gets everyone involved. There is a lot of talk, a lot of rebuttals and ultimately if the transfer fails to happen, a lot of bitterness. These transfers are what us football fans refer to as ‘sagas’.
From Wesley Sneijder’s proposed transfer to Man Utd in 2010, to Cesc Fabregas’ much talked about return to Catalonia and Barcelona.
This season’s transfer ‘saga’ seems to be that of Chilean midfield maestro Arturo Vidal and his proposed transfer to Man Utd.
Vidal, 27, has been an integral part of Juventus’ three Serie A titles on the trot and was also a key member of the Chilean team that nearly knocked out Brazil in the Round of 16. Considered to be one of the last complete box-to-box midfielder, as capable of breaking up play and defending as he is scoring goals, Vidal was earmarked by new United manager Louis Van Gaal as the answer to United’s rather inept midfield.
It seemed for a while that United would get their man as well with newspaper reports of Vidal agreeing personal terms with United ahead of the transfer. United now only had to meet Juventus’ asking price and the man was theirs.
However, as is customary of a ‘saga’, various newspapers reported that the deal was now off as United were unwilling to meet Juventus’ asking price.
It wasn’t a wholly convincing story and seemed to be a ploy from United to try to force the player into handing in a transfer request. Fans on social media were aghast at supposedly missing out on Vidal and just as they seemed to be getting over it, Juventus manager Antonio Conte resigned from the club in rather odd fashion.
This sparked reports in the Italian media that Conte’s resignation was due to Juventus possibly agreeing to sell their star player this summer. This again raised the hopes of United fans who’ve now been accustomed to watching poor midfield performances. However, after the resignation, Juve CEO Marotta stated in no uncertain terms that Vidal was staying put and the club were not entertaining the idea of the player moving.
Vidal for his part has stayed relatively quiet throughout the whole affair. The player has said that he’s happy at Juventus and would decide his future when he returns from his post-World Cup break.
In the meanwhile, hashtags with Vidal and MUFC have been constantly trending on twitter and rather bizarre stories involving the player’s neighbours in Turin have also come to light.
While the saga is currently far from over, and will likely continue well into next month, it will be interesting to see whether United can actually pull off the deal.
If they don’t, it is likely that the club will have a replacement in mind considering the serious injury to current midfield stalwart Michael Carrick. If they do, then every United fan in the world will rejoice at what will be a serious coup for the club as Vidal has the talent to eradicate United’s midfield problems at the snap of his Chilean fingers.