Manchester United will turn their attention to finally signing Arturo Vidal from Juventus, sources in England and Italy have stated, after just agreeing a fee with Real Madrid to acquire Angel Di Maria.
The club's mooted interest in Vidal has been a long-running theme of the summer, despite Old Trafford officials regularly briefing that the speculation only came from the player's camp.
ALL-TIME HIGHEST TRANSFER FEES
1) £85m Gareth Bale -- Tottenham to Real Madrid, Sept. 2013
2) £80m Cristiano Ronaldo -- Man Utd to R Madrid, June 2009
3) £75m Luis Suarez -- Liverpool to Barcelona, July 2014
4) £71m James Rodriguez -- Monaco to Real Madrid, July 2014
5) £59.7m Angel Di Maria -- R Madrid to Man Utd, August 2014
6) £56m Kaka -- AC Milan to Real Madrid, June 2009
Sources have repeatedly stated that United's interest was very real, however, and it now appears that they will finally act on that as the club's need for a midfielder becomes so pressing.
Much was made of Louis van Gaal name-checking Vidal after the 1-1 draw with Sunderland, but that was more than a piece of mischief from the manager, even if he also referenced Leo Messi.
The Dutch coach is now pushing United to make the deal happen, despite previously having had doubts about the purchase, and maintaining some concern about his fitness.
For his part, Vidal is also hugely interested in moving to Old Trafford, and discussions between representatives have already covered the idea of an incentivised contract because of his knee situation.
ESPN had previously been told by sources that Juventus set United a price of 45 million pounds in June. The Italian champions have been hugely wary of the public image the exit of such a player would create, especially after the departure of title-winning coach Antonio Conte in what has been a fractious close season.
Juventus have privately maintained that any sale must come in time for them to properly reinvest, and even set an initial deadline of last Friday. United will now test that, and it has been mooted in Italy that the money from the sale of Vidal could then be used to challenge Real Madrid for the signing of Radamel Falcao.
It is thought that United's pursuit of the player could go right to the end of the transfer window, which closes Monday, Sept. 1.
The Old Trafford outfit also maintain interest in Ajax's Daley Blind, who worked so well for Van Gaal during the World Cup with the Netherlands.
Despite a close-season that had been so frustrating, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward may yet justify his words from a mid-summer interview that United would do real business, and produce a genuinely excellent window.