Arturo Vidal is said to be close to signing a new contract with Bayern Munich according to Italian outlet Calcio Mercato. This comes just days after Vidal announced that he would be retiring from international football with the Chilean national team after the 2018 World Cup next summer - if, in fact, they do secure qualification for the tournament, which Chile is in danger of missing as things stand in CONMEBOL qualifying.
Vidal's current contract with Bayern is set to expire in 2019, at which point he would have the option to leave on a free transfer if he refuses to sign a new contract. The significance of getting a new contract through is absolutely massive for Bayern, especially with the amount of big clubs that were reportedly interested in Vidal during this summer's transfer window. Inter Milan, Chelsea, and AC Milan were all heavily linked with efforts to acquire the midfielder, though Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has maintained that no club had submitted an official offer at any point during the summer window.
Getting a new contract signed is imperative for Bayern
Vidal's presence in Bayern's midfield simply cannot be understated and his absence in the 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim on Saturday was clearly noticeable. Thiago Alcantara is going to take some time to get back into top form, and neither Sebastian Rudy nor Corentin Tolisso possess quite the same verve that Vidal does in the central midfield role, though they both show plenty of promise.
Vidal said this in 2014 (via Bundesliga);
Many try to imitate my style, but I want to say one thing: I'm the best defensive midfielder in the world. No one defends as well as me and scores so many goals.
As self-absorbed as his comments may sound, he's got the numbers to support the claim. Since joining Bayern from Juventus in the summer of 2015, Vidal has recorded 16 goals and provided 17 assists across all competitions, boasting one of the best respective records of any holding midfielder across Europe's top five leagues. A more telling statistic to his consistent contribution to Bayern's fortunes is the fact that he averaged 107 touches per match, with only 12% of his passes going astray last season - a testament to his precision and accuracy.
Quite simply, Bayern need to get Vidal's new contract sorted out as soon as possible and there's likely to be a wave of collective relief once it's completed.