Arturo Vidal will not consider leaving Barcelona until all of their 2019/20 fixtures are finished – even if that means missing out on a move to Inter this summer.
The Chilean is, somewhat deceptively, one of modern football’s most accomplished players. Though he has developed something of a mercenary reputation, joining Bayern from Juventus before moving to Barcelona in 2018, he has won league titles in each of his last eight seasons – four on the spin with Juve and three with Bayern before helping Barça romp to La Liga triumph last season.
This season though, he has been used more sparingly than he is used to. Although 31 appearances by March is no modest total, he has only started eight of the Catalan side’s 27 league matches, with the intense competition for midfield places freezing the 33-year-old out of the starting XI for prolonged spells.
Naturally, this has led to speculation over his long-term role with the Spanish champions. Reports in Italy have frequently suggested a reunion with Antonio Conte at Inter could be on the cards, a pretty safe suggestion given that the Nerazzurri will sign almost any accomplished player over the age of 31.
There has been fleeting supplementary talk of a Premier League move, with Manchester United and Newcastle – the latter in the midst of an illustrious takeover – both said to be considering moves.
Mundo Deportivo, however, say that any interested party will have to wait. Vidal is said to be focused on seeing out the current season on the pitch, and helping Barça to retain their La Liga title, before a tilt at winning the Champions League for the first time in his career. Only after that will he consider any offers.
Barcelona are said to be of the same mindset, keen to keep the current group together to see out the remainder of the campaign. Their defence of the title will resume at Mallorca on 13 June, while their Champions League round of 16 second leg with Napoli – initially due to take place on 18 March – is yet to be rescheduled.
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