What’s going on, Nemanja Vidic?

There is, as the old cliché goes, no smoke without fire. So it is no without surprise that yet another Nemanja Vidic exit story appeared in today’s press. This time, though, The Times reports that the giant Serbian defender is the target of a mooted summer bid from crosstown rivals Manchester City. A chilling thought in a media-fought battle to keep the defender at Old Trafford.

Despite Vidic’s limited participation this term, with calf and “nerve” injuries limiting the former-Spartak Moscow player to just 13 appearances, the Serbian clearly wants a substantial pay rise. The defender’s contract, worth in the £50,000 per week region until 2012, is not deemed sufficient for a player of his standing. So the rumour goes, at least.

With two years remaining on the contract, the board is yet to open talks with a player who is consistently linked with moves to Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan and now City in the press.

With the board in cost-cutting mode, and Vidic able to command more than £100,000 per week on the open market, it’s a figure that United is unlikely to match in the club’s current economic state.

The fee to secure his services, with two years remaining on the 28-year-old’s contract, could be more than £20 million. It’s a figure that will no doubt have the bean-counters sweating in the Old Trafford boardroom.

In a game that is now being played out openly in the media, United’s management has been less than secretive about its admiration for Everton’s hugely versatile Jack Rodwell and the Danish defender Simon Kjaer, now at Palermo.

The planning for succession, it seems, has already begun. Indeed, the board has already brought in the 20-year-old centre-back Chris Smalling from Fulham in a £10 million deal that could rise to more than £12 million should the player fulfill certain criteria.

Moreover, such is Jonny Evan’s outstanding current form that there is a fair argument to promote the Northern Irish international ahead of Vidic given the Serbian’s limited involvement in the current campaign.

More worrying still is Vidic’s fitness, or lack thereof. In recent matches the defender has trained all week only to pull himself out of the matchday squad. The more cynical observer might question the defender’s commitment to the cause.

It’s a fact that has exasperated Sir Alex Ferguson, with the Scot to say that the player “does not want to hang around,” according to a recent report in the The Guardian.

The player is unwavering in his public commitment to United, stating that he’s happy at the club and reports his wife wants to leave are wide of the mark. He could hardly say anything else if he wants a much improved contract. The suspicious remains that the player has done little to discourage interested continental club’s from following up on their inquiries with firm summer bids.

It all points to a probable exit to the highest bidder come August, with Vidic playing for Serbia at this summer’s World Cup finals in South Africa during June and July.

The player faces a tough opening group including Africa Cup of Nations finalists Ghana, together with Germany and Australia. Perhaps the best United’s board can hope for is that Vidic has an outstanding tournament, adding a few million to the player’s market price.

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Comments

  1. UnitedRanter says

    It’s funny how certainties fail to remain so in football. Last season, you would have laughed had someone suggested breaking up the Rio-Vidic partnership. Yet a year on, neither one is hardly playing and we still have the second best defensive record in the division.

    I believe that two out of Rio, Evans, and Brown will be good enough for this club in any game. Vidic does not seem to have his heart in it any longer. Unless he knuckles down and proves us wrong, it’s time for him to go.

  2. swapnil says

    i was waiting for somone to write an article bout vidic,either redrants,utdrant or rom.its finally there.certainly a worthwhile question bout vidic there..i believe he’ll be off in the summer.i actually wondered if he really was injured quite a few times.i still think SAF is leaving him out because he’s not showing enough commitment on the pitch as his heart is set for a move or he has badly fallen out with SAF.i have definitely prepared myself to wish him goodbye…

  3. Xyth says

    I also believe that Vidic has indeed injured a nerve. A nerve in his head. Fergie probably is fed up with his attitude this season and is freezing him out.

    If he doesn’t want to stay, he should not play. At least United will benefit long term from player like Evans getting more playtime. With Rio back, we should be OK till he end of the season.

    Vidic should just fuck off to wherever he wants to.

  4. Bill says

    Ferdinand, Evans, Brown, O’Shea, Smalling, Cathcart and at a stretch Neville can more than do a job at centre back for United. Take the cash and lose a headache. Don’t sell him to City in any circumstance though!

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