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02nd Aug 2018

Arturo Vidal set for surprise switch to Barcelona

Wouldn't be the first time Barcelona hijacked a Serie A team's transfer this summer

Reuben Pinder

United have kept tabs on him for years but he looks set to move to Barcelona

Arturo Vidal looks set to leave Bayern Munich for Barcelona for a fee in the region of £27m. The move comes as somewhat of a shock after it looked more likely that Vidal would end up at Inter Milan this summer.

Manchester United have kept tabs on Vidal for years but never managed bring the Chilean to Old Trafford. And it now seems unlikely that they ever will, with the combative midfielder set to join Barcelona.

According to Catalan newspaper Sport, Barcelona’s first choice was Adrien Rabiot of Paris Saint-Germain but the two clubs could not agree on a deal.

Barça then turned their heads towards the much more affordable Vidal, who turned 31 back in May. Sport’s report states that a contract has been agreed between Vidal’s represenatatives and the La Liga champions.

Manager Ernesto Valverde is looking to bolster his midfield options after the departure of Andrés Iniesta, who bid farewell to Barcelona after last season to join Japanese club Vissel Kobe.

Finding a like for like replacement for Iniesta is near impossible, but a combination of Philippe Coutinho, who joined in January, and Arturo Vidal, will go some way to replacing Iniesta’s contributions.

Barça have been looking for a player to fill this gap in the team for years but never found the right man, with André Gomes failing to live up to expectations and Denis Suárez’s return not going as successfully as many had hoped.

At Bayern Munich, the hierarchy are concerned with the number of small injuries that Vidal has picked up over the past two years and view this window as their final chance to cash in on the Chilean.

Vidal’s versatility will be useful to Barcelona, who will surely be looking for a long term heir to Sergio Busquets in the near future.