It’s a move Manchester United fans have had months to brace themselves for, as Inter confirm captain Nemanja Vidic has indeed penned a deal to join the Italian club when his current Old Trafford contract expires this summer.
Still only 32, a relative spring chicken in centre-back terms, it feels like an odd move for United to be parting company with a man who, alongside Rio Ferdinand, has brought so much success to the Red Devils.
However, during a season of unparalleled turmoil at Old Trafford in over a quarter of a century, letting their long-term captain leave feels like the biggest statement of intent yet from new manager David Moyes, that he will be rebuilding his squad this summer regardless of reputations.
The Serbian’s departure does of course open the door to new arrivals, who could potentially become the ‘new Vidic’ at United and help to quickly bring them back as title contenders and the dominant force in English football.
Many names have already been linked, with Roma’s defensive lynchpin, Mehdi Bentia, and Danish international Simon Kjaer among those earmarked to fill the Vidic void.
It remains to be seen just who Moyes ends up pursuing with the most intent, but whoever it is will have gigantic shoes to fill at United.
Although Vidic will certainly leave United as a legend – where he played a pivotal role in securing 15 trophies, including five Premier League titles and a Champions League – given their current troubles, the decision not to keep him will still rankle many United fans.
United have failed in both domestic cups, are facing an ignominious European exit against Olympiacos and crucially, look like missing out on the top-four in the Premier League, highlighted by long odds of 14/1 that they manage to bridge a 12-point gap from seventh.
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