Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal has started 41 all-competition fixtures for his club this term, including all-but one of the Old Lady’s 12 Champions League fixtures en route to their upcoming final appearance against Barcelona in Berlin.
With that in mind, why oh why, you might ask, would the Serie A dominators countenance selling the 27-year-old to Liverpool this summer? And why would he move to a club destined for the second tier of European football next term?
The rank badness of the Metro’s football gossip pages have been flagged up by ‘The Rumour Kill’ many times before, but the of-course-it’s-freesheet may well have outdone itself this time.
Vidal was rumoured to be on his way to Manchester United last summer, with a fee in the region of £50m mooted. Less than a year on, the Metro reports:
“It is thought the Reds originally tabled a bid of £14.4million for the Chilean midfielder, but the Italian outfit want more money for their prize player.
Vidal, 27, is tied into a contract with the Old Lady until 2017 – but Juventus have told Liverpool they can have their man for £25million, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.”
The original Gazzetta piece has less substance to it than the ISIS travel brochure, and only the Daily Star have dared to repeat the rumour since.
Intriguingly, news has just broken that former Manchester City youth product Javan Vidal has become Wrexham’s second signing of the post-season, with talkSPORT laying on the following headline:
‘Transfer latest! Reds land Vidal’
There may have been some sort of mix-up.
Another piece of guff that emerged from today’s Star says Chelsea ‘are ready’ (note the weasel words) to get rid of winger Juan Cuadrado, who they bought in January for around £26m, plus highly-rated Brazilian Oscar, to fund a £50m move for Liverpool’s wantaway England international Raheem Sterling.
Cuadrado hasn’t exactly set the heather alight since arriving from Fiorentina four months ago, but the Premier League champions’ 3-0 reverse away to West Brom was the first match they’ve lost in 90 minutes with the Colombian on the pitch, and he had made a dozen appearances prior to the Hawthorns.
Chelsea have won two and drawn one of the three matches Cuadrado has started, and gaffer Jose Mourinho is hardly the type to admit a mistake, and potentially take a loss, so quickly.
The paper doesn’t seem to be able to make much sense of the rumour either, describing Oscar’s season as ‘mixed…managing seven goals and eight assists’.
That’s not too shabby; indeed, it’s just two behind his goal-involvement tally from last term, and the 23-year-old has missed more games thorough injury this season than in either of his previous two campaigns at Stamford Bridge.
Don’t watch this space.