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Vidic’s exit confirmed

vidic_getty_title-458463Nemanja Vidic’s departure from Manchester United was today made official as Inter Milan confirmed on their own website that they’ve agreed a deal to bring the Serbian defender to the San Siro from next season, ending speculations over which club Vidic will join this summer.

Vidic, whose contract with United runs out at the end of the season, had last month spoke of his desire to face a new challenge after eight seasons at Old Trafford and the 32-year-old has got his wish, as David Moyes and the club decided not to offer their captain a new deal.

With Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra also set to leave the club in the summer, David Moyes – or whoever manager will replace the Scot if United decided to pull the plug – will have a huge job on his hands, for United’s rearguard is now as in need of a drastic overhaul as the midfield has been for the last eight years.

Jonny Evans has developed into an excellent defender and Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have already shown their obvious potential, but neither of them fits the bill of the world class centre-backs United will need from next season which is likely to be the first without one between Ferdinand and Vidic since the 2001-02 campaign.

The issue of captaincy remains rather intricate, for despite Vidic’s commitment to the United cause over the years, Moyes can’t afford nor allow Vidic to remain captain until the end of the season, not when the Serbian is no longer a guaranteed and not when, much more importantly, he’s openly admitted that he wants a new challenge and has already signed for a new club.

Should Patrice Evra, who stood for Vidic over the last 12-18 months being given the armband even though he’s likely to leave the club himself in the summer, or should Wayne Rooney being awarded the honour of captaining the club he’s twice tried to leave, thus marking a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Mr £300,000-a-week?

Whoever will succeed Vidic will have a formidable record to match, for the Serbian will not only go down in history as the captain who lifted United’s historic 19th title but he’ll also be remembered as one of the greatest centre-back to have ever played for the club, one whose trophy cabinet contains five Premier League winner’s medals, three League Cups and a Champions League.

One of the most formidable centre-backs of the last decade, Vidic overcame a nightmare debut against Manchester City in January 2006 to go on and form a superb partnership with Rio Ferdinand and Edwin Van Der Sar which piloted United to three league titles between 2006 and 2009, with a double in the 2007-08 campaign and a record 14 consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League in the following season.

It’ll be hard for United to find a braver and more courageous defender than Vida, but his uncompromising style saw his appearance limited over the last two season, as injuries restricted Vidic to just 25 Premier League appearances between 2011 and 2013 and though his 26 appearances this season have put him on course to reach 300 matches for the club by the end of the season – he’s on 291 now – there won’t be another trophy for him.

Best of luck in Italy, Vida, United will miss you.