Barcelona place Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal on their transfer wish list

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Bayern Munich centre midfielder Arturo Vidal has reportedly emerged as an option for Barcelona to fill the gap left by Paulinho.

Vidal, 31, has been linked with a move back to Serie A all summer with Internazionale.

But Mundo Deportivo have stated that the return of Brazil international Paulinho to Guangzhou Evergrande has forced a reassessment by the La Liga champions. They want to increase their options in the middle of the park and could be prepared to meet Bayern’s €30 million (Dh128.1m) demands for the Chile superstar.

Vidal has scored 22 times in 132 matches for the Bundesliga holders. He previously represented Juventus from 2011-15.

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Manchester United make their sums work with pursuit of Barcelona defender Yerry Mina

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Manchester United ended last season being linked to Barcelona’s outstanding France centre-back Samuel Umtiti.

They look to be beginning 2018/19 with Yerry Mina in their ranks; a reserve defender who will live in infamy after being so culpable against Levante for the Catalans’ late failure to undertake a historic unbeaten La Liga campaign.

“The few minutes I did get, they were bad… it felt at times like everything was going wrong and coming down,” the 23-year-old frankly reflected to Bocas magazine last week, almost eight months since his arrival from Brazil’s Palmeiras.

“I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, such as even giving a pass in training.”

Words to worry any prospective employers. Never mind ones that are set to hand Barca a €28.2m (Dh120.4m) profit – representing a 239-per-cent return – on their €11.8m (Dh50.3m) initial investment.

The chase for Mina can seem hard to justify. But United can still make their sums work, in both the short and long term.

From the Guachene-native’s four La Liga starts, seven goals were conceded – including May’s infamous 5-4 debacle at Ciutat de Valencia.

In the aftermath, an excoriating review from Catalan sports daily SPORT said he “lived a real ordeal”, “came out in all the photos of the five goals” and lacked “the reactionary capacity or tactical resources” to prosper.

No wonder, then, that United only appear to be battling the likes of Lyon, Southampton, Everton and promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers for his signature.

Mina also does not possess a pedigree far in advance of resident centre-backs Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof or Marcos Rojo.

Hardly a statement signing to seemingly assuage the rancour – sparked by transfer market frustrations – that bedevilled Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho during a tour of the United States that contained a stream of toxic sound bites.

This state of affairs could exemplify a narrowing of horizons as the transfer window inexorably heads towards its early close on August 9 in the Premier League. Especially when Italy and AC Milan superstar Leonardo Bonucci was linked earlier in the window, along with soon-to-be World Cup 2018 winner Umtiti.

The €40 million (Dh170.8m) pursuit of Mina, eye-catching as a repeat goal scorer with Colombia in Russia, comes amid a baulking at gargantuan price tags placed on Leicester City’s Harry Maguire and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld.

It also follows a revisiting of positive scouting reports when the statuesque stopper blossomed in South America.

United must hope a change of environment, more minutes and a deeper defensive line will coax out the player who reportedly rejected the advances of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in January 2017.

Mina is roughly half the price of £75m (Dh359.3m)-rated Maguire. But is he half the player?

A review of their World Cup statistics, where England defeated Colombia on penalties in the round of 16, appears to bear out the hothousing effect of the ‘Premier League premium’.

Per game, Maguire won more aerials (5.9/4.7), made more average passes (62.3/52.7) and produced fewer fouls (1/2).

02 08 Yerry Mina

Mina, however, led the way per game in tackles (1.3/1), clearances (7/2.6), dribbles (0.7/0.6), offsides won (0.7/0.3) and interceptions (1/0.6). He also produced three headed goals in three appearances, to Maguire’s one from seven.

Notably, he rose high above the static Three Lions defender to power home the late leveller that forced extra time at Otkritie Arena.

At two years younger (23/25) and one centimetre taller (195/194), it’s not only frugality from executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward – a former accountant – that has seen United turn towards Mina.

Alderweireld would have been the optimal recruit this window. Forget a rare injury-stained 2017/18 campaign, the Belgium star remains the Premier League’s elite defender.

At 29-years old, his mixture of experience and ability would have coaxed the best out of United’s resident quintet.

This is a transfer wish that can be revisited.

Alderweireld has a £25.4m (Dh121.7m) release clause that becomes active during the final 14 days of summer 2019’s market – if Spurs extend his contract by a further year to 2020. Far more affordable than the £50m+ (Dh239.6m+) figure demanded at present.

Even the world’s richest club – as adjudged by Deloitte in January – must watch the bottom line.

A net spend of just £5m (Dh24m) will get Mina now, if Argentina’s Rojo is sold to Everton for a prospective £30m (Dh143.8m).

Buy Alderweireld next year and the total operation will cost roughly 50-per-cent less than buying the Belgium defender or Maguire today. A figure that can be turned into a zero-sum investment, or better, if United make space with another sale.

Woodward is mocked, relentlessly, for his lack of market smarts. But this is an operation that makes business, and sporting, sense.

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Transfer Predictor: Yerry Mina to Man United is a 7, Daniele Rugani to Chelsea gets 6

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Yerry Mina

The summer transfer window is in full swing especially with Premier League clubs racing to get deals over the line before their August 9 deadline.

With the rumours growing in pace and volume during this ‘silly season’, it can be difficult and painstaking to separate the stories of some legitimacy from the rest of the noise.

Fortunately, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do it for you.

Below, you’ll find some of the latest transfer news churned out of the Rumour Mill broken down and analysed for your benefit along with our calculated predictions.

YERRY MINA – BARCELONA TO MANCHESTER UNITED

Yerry Mina.

Yerry Mina.

Manchester United look set to complete the transfer of Yerry Mina from Barcelona, according to the Mirror.

Why it will happen: Jose Mourinho is desperate to add to his defence and Mina has already discussed the mental toll of watching from the sidelines at Barcelona – a situation that won’t improve with Clement Lenglet’s arrival.

Why it won’t happen: A couple of other clubs are also interested in the Colombian. Meanwhile, if United unexpectedly made headway in their attempts to sign Toby Alderweireld, they may be inclined to ditch the move for Mina.

Prediction: This seems to be the right move for all parties. Barcelona made a substantial profit just six months on from signing the centre-back, Mina secures regular playing time and United improve their defence for far cheaper than Harry Maguire or Alderweireld would cost.

Rating: 7/10

JACK GREALISH – ASTON VILLA TO TOTTENHAM

Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish

Tottenham are yet to make their first signing this summer but their bid to rope in Jack Grealish has come under threat by Chelsea, the Sun reports.

Why it will happen: Grealish looks primed to ply his trade in the Premier League and Tottenham have been tracking him for months.

Why it won’t happen: Chelsea are looking for reinforcements and would likely be able to match or even better Tottenham’s offer.

Prediction: Despite the interest from Chelsea, Grealish will know that he’s more likely to see playing time at Tottenham, particularly given Mauricio Pochettino’s reputation of putting faith in young talent.

Rating: 8/10

DANIELE RUGANI – JUVENTUS TO CHELSEA

Daniele Rugani

Daniele Rugani

Chelsea have reached an agreement with Juventus for the signing of Daniele Rugani, according to Transfer Market Web.

Why it will happen: Maurizio Sarri has made no secret of his admiration of the centre-back, who has an opportunity to play a starring role in what the Italian hopes to build Stamford Bridge.

Why it won’t happen: There are suggestions that the defender isn’t entirely convinced. There may be an opportunity for more playing time at Juventus this season as Andrea Barzagli may be phased out.

Prediction: Juventus would likely be happy to accept the £36 million that is reportedly being offered for someone who isn’t first choice. With Leonardo Bonucci returning to Turin, Rugani may agree to move.

Rating: 6/10

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