Good form: Arturo Vidal challenges Mathew Leckie during Australia's match with Chile at the World Cup.
Arturo Vidal appears to be close to a big money move to Manchester United but as far as Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is concerned, the only thing stopping the Chilean from playing against the A-League All Stars on Sunday is a niggling knee injury.
The 27-year-old is one of the star attractions included in the travelling Juventus squad but fears have lingered that he might not be able to play in Australia because of a proposed transfer. Allegri did not comment on a potential sale of his prized midfielder but was coy as to whether Vidal would be available for selection against the A-League All Stars as he's yet to resume full training.
British reports say the Red Devils have offerred Juventus $82 million for Vidal, a fee that will smash their previous record and confirms the dynamic midfielder is the key transfer target of new coach Louis Van Gaal. Vidal is reported to have agreed to personal terms of a five-year deal with the EPL club worth more than $17 million a season.
However, when asked about Vidal's current status on Friday, Allegri spoke only of his fitness. Vidal missed Juventus' 8-1 friendly win over an Indonesian selection on Wednesday night and the Juventus coach said the only reason he would not feature against the A-League All Stars on Sunday would be due to a lack of fitness as a result of a lingering knee injury that required surgery in May.
"At the moment Vidal is running, but will have to wait day by day on what his condition is and when the best moment for him to start playing again will be," Allegri said.
Vidal has been the star player of Juventus over the course of their three consecutive Serie A triumphs and has scored more goals than any other players since he arrived in Turin in 2011. As a result of his form, he's become one of the hottest transfer targets in the world, having attracted the interest of both Real Madrid and Manchester United, but has remained with the Juventus squad for their pre-season tour of Australia, Indonesia and Singapore.
Meanwhile, Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon is harnessing the "energy" of an emerging football nation such as Australia after the failed campaign of the Italian national team at the 2014 World Cup. Buffon hinted at a culture of complacency within Italian football and praised the positive attitude towards the game in Australia, in the build-up to the All Stars match.
"In Australia and in the United States, in the world of soccer, they're emerging countries and in this situation there's a bit more energy and willingness to do better compared to countries like Italy where Soccer has been there for a long time as a tradition," Buffon said. "Now for Italy it's time to focus on what our aims are and what we want to achieve in order to improve results."