The Serbian has been an outstanding servant to the Red Devils for the past eight years, establishing himself as a rock in the United defence ever since his £7m switch from Spartak Moscow in 2005.
Vidic became the captain under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011 after the retirement of Gary Neville, but with the 32-year-old's contract set to expire in the summer, Vidic has announced that he will leave the club.
“I never could have imagined winning 15 trophies and I will certainly never forget that fantastic night in Moscow, memories that will live with me and the fans forever,” he said in a statement. “However, 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.”
“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.” added Vidic. “I’ve got a few options to move on and I will choose the right one for me and for my family. I am now going to focus all my efforts on playing for Manchester United and do the best I can for the team until the end of the season. I hope this stops any further speculation about my future.”
A move to Inter Milan has been heavily speculated in recent weeks, and with Vidic's declaration that he won't be staying in England, the San Siro side will now be strong favourites to land the uncompromising centre back. United boss David Moyes will now have to undergo the task of replacing Vidic and his long-time defensive partner Rio Ferdinand, with both players now set to leave after many years with the club.
Whether he will manage to land a player as consistently excellent over such a long period of time as Vidic has been remains to be seen, but whoever takes his place will have huge shoes to fill.
The news also serves to show that the Ferguson era is truly over, and now the Moyes revolution will begin to take shape – without captain Vidic.
image: © nasmac