Van Gaal: I’ve tried to sign Arturo Vidal before

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Louis van Gaal has revealed
he made an attempt to sign
Juventus midfielder Arturo
Vidal earlier in his career,
as his Netherlands side prepare to face Chile in the
group stage of the World Cup.
Vidal was courted by Van Gaal’s Bayern Munich as
he made his name with Bundesliga rivals Bayer
Leverkusen, before opting instead to join Juventus
for €10.5 million in the summer of 2011.
The 27-year-old has since established himself as
one of the world’s most highly-rated midfielders,
being voted in the Serie A Team of the Season in
each of the past two campaigns.
With world champions Spain widely tipped to top
Group B, the June 23 clash between Netherlands and
Chile could prove crucial in deciding who makes the
World Cup knockout stages.
And while Van Gaal insisted that Jorge Sampaoli’s
men possess several talented players, he reserved
special praise for Vidal, who returned from a knee
injury in Chile’s 2-0 friendly win over Northern
“Chile have very dangerous players,” he told
reporters. “I always wanted to buy Vidal when he
was at Bayer Leverkusen but he went to Juventus.
“I like a lot of Chile players and they always play an
attacking style. It will be difficult for the Netherlands
but we have confidence in the three games we have
to play.”
Van Gaal addressed the media after a light Oranje
training session at Flamengo’s Estadio Gavea
training complex on Friday.
Robin van Persie played a full part, and Van Gaal
remains optimistic about the striker’s chances of
shaking off the groin injury which saw him
substituted at half-time of Wednesday’s friendly win
over Wales.
“Van Persie has a groin injury but he can deal with
it, so it looks ok,” he added. “I think he’s good. He
trained with us but it was a light training session.
We have to see tomorrow.”
Swansea City midfielder Jonathan de Guzman
missed the Wales win with a hamstring injury and
trained alone on Friday, but Van Gaal insists the 26-
year-old’s recovery is ahead of schedule.
“De Guzman has an injury, but it’s going very well
and he’ll be back sooner than everyone thought,” he
The incoming Manchester United manager also
explained his decision to shift to a more cautious
5-3-2 formation in recent friendly matches.
“It’s because of Spain, because of the qualities of
Spain, and mostly because of the attacking qualities,”
Van Gaal revealed. “We want to make the space
narrow, so that’s the reason.”

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