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We never opened Vidal talks, say Juve

ESPN staff
July 16, 2014
Antonio Conte leaves Juventus

Manchester United's pursuit of Arturo Vidal has taken a fresh twist with Juventus claiming they never opened talks over a potential transfer for the midfielder.

New United manager Louis van Gaal - who officially took over at Old Trafford on Wednesday - has repeatedly been linked with a move for Vidal and the departure of manager Antonio Conte on Tuesday put the 27-year-old's Juventus future further in doubt.

Arturo Vidal is a reported transfer target for Louis van Gaal © Getty Images

But following the unveiling of former AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri on Wednesday afternoon, Juventus insist that Vidal's future lies with the Serie A champions.

"Vidal is a Juventus player and we have never put him up for sale," Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta told a news conference on Wednesday. "A lot of clubs have asked for him but we have never sat down to negotiate. We want to keep him.

"From experience, I know that a player is the one that decides his future. Vidal has expressed many times how happy he is to remain in Turin and if that is confirmed, we will be happy to continue together."

Allegri stated at his first news conference that he was looking forward to working with the likes of Vidal and former United midfielder Paul Pogba, despite the latter also being linked with a move to the Premier League with Chelsea reportedly interested.

"I will try to go further to improve this team. I'm happy to coach players like Pogba and Vidal," he said.

Last week, Vidal revealed he was "relaxed" about his future but hinted at a move to United by saying "all of us would like to be in one of the best teams in the world".

However, Vidal then said on Tuesday that while a transfer to United was an "option", he would not actively push for a move away from Juventus.

"I'm not thinking of where I'm going to go, I want to take advantage of my holidays with the people I love," he said.

"Right now I'm thinking of other things. Afterwards, when I arrive in Italy, I'll see. I'm already at a great team, Juventus, so I will be just as calm if the Manchester United option falls through.''

Vidal has won three consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus and impressed for Chile at the World Cup in Brazil despite battling for full fitness following a knee operation before the tournament.

Van Gaal has spoken of his admiration for Vidal before, revealing that he wanted to sign the midfielder for Bayern Munich when he was playing for Bayer Leverkusen, only for Vidal to opt for Juventus instead.

Vidal is expected to arrive in Turin for his club's pre-season training on July 28.

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