Manchester United boss David Moyes says the 'timing was right' for Nemanja Vidic to leave the club after Serbian confirmed early today that this will be his last season at Old Trafford.
Vidic revealed this morning that he would be seeking a new challenge when his contract expires in the summer.
"It’s the last year of my contract and I have had eight wonderful years here,” the 32-year-old said. “My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career.
“I never could have imagined winning 15 trophies and I will certainly never forget that fantastic night in Moscow [Champions League victory in 2008], memories that will live with me and the fans forever.
“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. 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.”
Vidic arrived at Old Trafford in 2005 from Spartak Moscow, and has made 287 appearances for the club since.
Moyes, speaking ahead of Manchester United's weekend fixture against Fulham, says the decision for Vidic to move on was the right one for all concerned.
"It was something we mutually agreed together," explained the Red Devils boss. "Me and Nemanja. I think it was the right decision for both the club and the player.
"What I discussed with him will remain private but he has been a brilliant servant and captain for Manchester United. He is captain and will remain captain until the end of the season. He has been a great player for us and we will continue to play him."
Vidic could be the first of many Old Trafford veterans heading towards the exit this year, with doubts hanging over the futures of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra.
Moyes says he has no qualms about the timing of the decision, or about keeping the veteran defender on as captain for the rest of the season either.
"No, not somebody like Vida given the type of man he is," he explained.
"He’s a great leader for this club and served the club really well and I would expect that to continue right up until the end of the season.
"I think people know that I’ve got things in my mind that I want to do and things I wanted to change in time. I can’t do it all overnight. That wasn’t the reason for this. As I said, this was a decision that we mutually decided together. He felt it was the right time for him. We’ll get on with it and we’ll move on."