Nemanja Vidic has moved to clear up rumours regarding his future - by announcing he will leave the club in the summer.
Get set for a new era at Manchester United, the Nemanja Vidic years are nearly over.
Signed as a rough around the edges but hard as nails centre-back in 2006, the Serbian has lived up to and beyond all expectations.
He has won five Premier League titles, one Champions League and three League Cups, as well as numerous individual accolades.
The defender announced: "It's the last year of my contract and I have had eight wonderful years here. My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career. I’m not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is Manchester United."
Vidic had been strongly linked with a switch to Inter Milan in recent days, and the 32-year-old says he wants to ensure he gives his all between now and the end of the season.
There are several questions now thrown up in light of Vidic's announcement.
How will this affect the squad going forward for the rest of the season? Has Rio Ferdinand been handed a lifeline in terms of his own future at the club? Who will be the captain next season? Who will be signed to replace the Serbian international in central defence.
Expect Manchester United transfer rumours to go into overdrive over the weekend, with Ezequiel Garay, Eliaquim Mangala, Mats Hummels three of the names most commonly linked with a switch to Old Trafford.
But before we get to all that, what about Vidic himself? The player has been a man mountain, a colossus for United in central defence, the rock around they built their success over the past few seasons.
While has has had his injuries in recent times, he still leads the teams in clearances with 160 this season in the Premier League, more than 30 more than his nearest teammate.
The timing of his decision is an unusual one, and it's uncertain how it will play out between now and the rest of the season. His form will be under extra-scrutiny, but Vidic may have felt the rumours and whispers were a distraction, and having drawn a line under the situation and addressed it, he may be able to get back to playing his best football over the final few months of his United career.
Here is how United fans have been reacting on Twitter to the sudden announcement:
way to go Vidic, go ahead and abandon ship! we have young blood! #MUFC— Imran D (@imi_d10) February 7, 2014
Sad to see Vidic leave but let's be honest, he's not been the same since the knee injury. Hopefully he can help #MUFC rest of this season.— Scott Olsen (@scodawg77) February 7, 2014
Sad to see vidic go, what a monster. With him gone and Ferdinand finished replacements are essential #MUFC— jack (@jackchewy) February 7, 2014
So Vidic is off to pastures new. Been a great servant to the club. Believe Jones is a worthy replacement #MUFC— Quite Emo (@AMikYouKnow) February 7, 2014
Vidic has been a great servant for United, and formed the greatest CB partnership in PL history with Ferdinand. I wish him well. #MUFC— anesu muriro (@anesumuriro1) February 7, 2014
Vidic at his best was one of Man Utd's best ever CB's. Not been as assured this season but will still be missed. #MUFC— Rob Kearsey (@RobKearsey) February 7, 2014
This is going to be Vidic's last season with us. Thanks for everything.. especially for Moscow '08. #MUFC— Abdullah (@El_Abdulla) February 7, 2014
Vidic announces he is leaving. a United legend and 1 of my favourite players, would like Rooney as next captain #MUFC— Luke Byrne (@LukeByrne93) February 7, 2014
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