Bayern get Vidal for $55m

Chilean Arturo Vidal is expected to be the long-term replacement at Bayern for the injury-plagued Frenchman Franck Ribery.
Chilean Arturo Vidal is expected to be the long-term replacement at Bayern for the injury-plagued Frenchman Franck Ribery.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Arturo Vidal is joining Bayern Munich after Juventus agreed a €37 million (S$55 million) fee for the midfielder, with a further €3.02 million in add-ons.

The Chilean, who was also sought by several top English Premier League clubs, has agreed a four-year deal worth £90,000 a week and will leave Turin after four years and four Serie A titles.

The 28-year-old will now travel to Munich for a medical check-up and Bayern expect to announce the deal before the weekend.

The German champions have been looking for a long-term replacement for Franck Ribery, who has been struggling with injuries over the past 18 months, and concluded a deal yesterday after a week of negotiations.

Vidal's agent, Fernando Felicevich, has been in Munich to finalise the deal, which will lead to a return to the Bundesliga for the player, who had a spell with Leverkusen between 2007 and 2011.

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He is an excellent conqueror of the ball; he's scarily good in one-on-one duels; he excels at running and tackling; and he has a special warrior-like quality.

JUPP HEYNCKES, Bayern Munich's former coach, on Arturo Vidal

"Arturo is not just limited to being defensive, he also gives impetus to those up front," Bayern's former coach Jupp Heynckes told Kicker. "There aren't many players like him.

"He is an excellent conqueror of the ball; he's scarily good in one-on-one duels; he excels at running and tackling; and he has a special warrior-like quality.

"He just plays really good football. He'll ensure balance in Bayern's midfield."

Vidal was arrested and charged with drink driving after crashing his Ferrari during the Copa America in Chile, but Heynckes downplayed the midfielder's alleged recklessness.

"His actions off the pitch must not be overstated, but Vidal is a rascal," Heynckes said. "When on the pitch, though, if he's given a clear order and told to avoid being excessive in force then he's in control."

Bayern have already signed Brazilian attacking midfielder Douglas Costa from Shakhtar for £21.3 million, with Bastian Schweinsteiger joining Manchester United.

It has been a summer of upheaval at Juventus, with Carlos Tevez and now Vidal leaving and Mario Mandzukic, Sami Khedira and Paulo Dybala coming in.

The Champions League finalists have now entered negotiations with Schalke to sign Julian Draxler to add to manager Massimiliano Allegri's options in midfield.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2015, with the headline 'Bayern get Vidal for $55m'. Print Edition | Subscribe