In the beginning Eric created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Eric moved upon the face of the waters. And Eric said, Let there be a rumour that Arturo Vidal will move to Manchester United: and there was a rumour that Arturo Vidal will move to Manchester United.
Are Manchester United trying to buy Arturo Vidal? Yes! Or no! Depending on who you believe.
In the Yes corner are the English press, who have recently demonstrated the kind of suspiciously synchronised timing that suggests they've been tipped the wink. Here's Ian Ladyman in today's Daily Mail, claiming that United are now in "serious talks" with Juventus. And there's Ian Herbert in yesterday's Independent, stating that the Chilean is now United's "top midfield target".
(Herbert notes, by the by, that there are concerns over Vidal's knee injury, and that his over-hasty return to play in the World Cup may have caused permanent damage. The ghost of Owen Hargreaves still hang heavy around Old Trafford. This may, he reckons, lead to "highly incentivised appearance-based contract". Which sounds ... complicated.)
In the No camp, however, is Vidal's agent, who apparently told Sky Italia just today that United had been interested during the World Cup, but haven't been in contact since then. Whether that non-contact was confined to him, or whether he also mean contact with Juventus, Vidal himself, and a sapient and forbidding being from beyond the stars, we don't know. Whether he actually said anything of the sort or a few people that ought to know better are getting carried away, we also don't know.
In short, we've got a transfer saga. Ostensibly opposite things coming from either side that will, eventually, turn out to have been accurate. Equivocation and prevarication. Careful denials and outright falsehoods. All the fun of the fair. Woohoo.