Manchester United will lose their captain Nemanja Vidic to Italian giant Inter Milan over the summer, according to reports coming out of Milan. Vidic has already said he planned to leave England once his contract runs out after the 2013-2014 season.
Inter Milan President Erick Thohir indirectly confirmed that his club would be signing the 32-year-old Serbian defender once his Manchester United contract ends.
“Vidic? I can’t say anything even if the deal is 90 per cent done,” said Thohir, coyly. “It’s better to announce it once everything is completed. I don’t want to declare something that has not taken place.”
The departure of Vidic would clear the way for Wayne Rooney, reported to be on the verge of signing a contract making him the highest-salaried played in world football, to take over the Manchester United captain’s armband.
On February 7, Vidic made his intentions clear, saying that Manchester United was the only English club he had a desire to play for.
“I have decided that I will move on at the end of this season. I want to challenge myself again and try to make the best of myself in the coming years,” Vidic said in a statement confirming his long-suspected parting of ways with Manchester United. “I’m not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is Manchester United and I was lucky enough to be part of this club for so many years.”
Vidic came to Manchester United in January of 2006 on a £7 million — $11.65 million — transfer from Russian powerhouse Spartak Moscow where he had then played for two-and-a-half seasons. He started his top-level career as a 19-year-old prodigy in 2000 with Red Star Belgrade.
In his eight-and-a-half seasons with Manchester United, the star centre-back was part of five Barclays Premier League Championships and a UEFA Champions League title in 2008.
But this season Manchester United are mired in seventh position on the Premier League table with just 12 games to play. At 15 points adrift of table-topping Chelsea and 11 off the pace of fourth-place Liverpool, in the final Champions League qualification spot, the chances of a title or a return to the Champions League for the club are remote at best.
Inter Milan, however, are not faring much better in Italy’s Serie A, the top level of football in that country.
They currently sit in fifth place at 39 points, 11 short of third-place Napoli with 14 games left on the schedule, giving Vidic only a slighter less faint hope of Champions League play next season than he would have with Manchester United.