The 33-year-old saw a controversial return to Italy, with Inter said it was interested in acquiring the former Juventus star.

Vidal is “The heart” of Barcelona

Arturo Vidal has become “the heart” of Barca and must stay at the Camp Nou, says Gerardo Martino. Questions have been asked about the future of Chilean regularly this season. The 33-year-old saw a controversial return to Italy, with Inter said it was interested in acquiring the former Juventus star. Vidal, however, remained a prominent figure in Barça’s plans. This season, the combative midfielder has taken part in 42 appearances from 53 he made during his debut campaign in Catalonia. He has a role at LaLiga Giants, despite some doubts about his value to the cause. Gerardo believes that Vidal can be considered critical to the Barça rebuilding project, which will need to be undertaken in the background of a disappointing 2019-20 season.

Vidal should stay at Barca

He’s not alone for the long term as he approaches the end of a distinguished career, but has shown he can be a crucial component in a star-studded lineup. Former Barça boss Martino told reporters: “I see Vidal at the heart of the team for what Arturo gives, but also for the way he works, gets in the box and scores. It was a great year for Arturo, and for me, he could stay at Barça. If I could, I would have brought him to Barcelona at that moment (2013-14). There are very personal decisions to consider. I would ask if Barça’s DNA has not been represented so faithfully since Xavi and Iniesta left. I think Barça should have a different class of player.”

Gerardo managed just one year at Barcelona in 2013-14, and the current Mexico coach admitted that the ill-fated stay at Camp Nou was the worst of his career. He supports this observation but acknowledged that he could be proud to have been offered this position in the first place. The Martino added: “It was a bunch of things, not just the fact of saying ‘you loved or disliked coaching Barça. When we look at how the year went, how it was to be in such a big institution with so much media coverage, and so much need to end the year with an important achievement, it was much more than what I liked or not.”