Reports in Mundo Deportivo have put Barcelona as the frontrunners for Arturo Vidal, ahead of Inter Milan who were expected to sign him.
The Chile international has played in Europe since 2007 for Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus, and Bayern Munich and now he looks set to join another giant.
But where will he fit in at the Nou Camp?
It has been well documented this summer that Barcelona are interested in signing Adrien Rabiot from PSG. However, it seems that they are being put off by the high price and instead, have targeted Vidal instead.
With Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic likely to play most games in Barcelona’s midfield two next season, Vidal represents a very good depth option.
This past season at Bayern Munich he played just 22 games in the Bundesliga, so he is used to be a good option when players are injured/out of form/ in need of a rest.
Vidal is an all-round midfielder, good in both boxes and technically gifted. He has scored goals wherever he has played and would fit into the Barcelona style of play.
Not a long-term signing
Ultimately, Vidal represents a short-term answer to a long-term problem for Barcelona as they are in desperate need of replacing Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
The Paulinho and Andre Gomes signings have not worked out and there is no natural successor to Iniesta at the club.
Vidal, at the age of 31, does not represent a long-term plan for Barcelona as they likely would not seek to keep him beyond his early 30s.
At a price of around £30 million, Barcelona would hope to get two or three seasons out of Vidal and hope that by then, they have a new star midfielder through either their academy or transfer business.
Fans of the Catalan club could be alarmed that this signing does not represent a step forward in quality but if Barcelona cannot attract Rabiot or a young midfielder of his quality, then Vidal is a good secondary option.
What are his qualities?
Vidal really has no holes in his game. He has played for leading clubs in Europe his whole career and he has played very well at all of them.
He has made 100 appearances for Chile and scored an impressive 24 goals.
Stats from whoscored.com
The play style he will bring could improve the Barcelona team quite significantly. He can tackle, pass, score and create chances. Last year he contributed six goals and two assists despite not playing regularly for Bayern Munich.
For a side that plans on going far in every cup competition, Vidal is a perfect fit because of his world-class abilities.
It does seem on paper to be a weird signing for Barcelona and one not in keeping with their transfer policy but Vidal will give them the midfield depth that they are sorely lacking.
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