Arturo Vidal is on Louis van Gaal’s radar as a summer transfer target, with the Manchester United manager an admirer of the Juventus midfielder who starred as Chile reached the last 16 of the World Cup.
Juventus would be expected to demand as much as £40m for the 27-year-old, and Van Gaal wants another central midfielder following last month’s £28.5m addition of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.
The prospective valuation of Vidal is not thought to be an issue for Van Gaal, with one option being to offer a player as a makeweight. Nani has long interested Juventus and may be deemed surplus to requirements by the Dutchman.
Van Gaal also wants Kevin Strootman, the Roma midfielder, but as he will not return from a serious knee injury until late autumn, according to his representatives, the manager is hopeful of strengthening this area before the close of the transfer window.
Van Gaal, who is currently Holland coach and led the team to the World Cup semi-finals following’s Saturday’s penalty shootout win over Costa Rica in Salvador, has already added Luke Shaw to his squad, along with Herrera.
After the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, the 62-year-old’s priority is a top-class central defender – Borussia Dortmund and Germany’s Mats Hummels is Van Gaal’s No1 choice, with Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen also of interest to add further options in the position.
With those players not involved in the World Cup having returned to the club’s Carrington training base on Friday for pre-season tests – no ball work is currently being undertaken – the former midfielder Paul Scholes believes the quality of opposition on United’s summer tour of the USA will be of benefit.
With Van Gaal, who is in ongoing contact with the club executive while at the World Cup, expected to officially start work as soon as Holland head for home, his opening matches will be against LA Galaxy, Roma, Internazionale and Real Madrid.
Scholes said: “I think players prefer to play against top-class teams. The manager and staff will want to use as many players as they can to ensure they’re ready for the first game of the season and playing against some of these teams will definitely help the players do that.”