For almost a decade Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic was a rock at the heart of the Manchester United defence. Fifteen trophies and half a season after the departure of legendary manager Sir Alec Ferguson the club captain has announced his intention to quit Manchester United in the summer.
Speaking on the Manchester United official website earlier today, Vidic said " I'm not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is
"I never could have imagined winning 15 trophies. However, I have decided I will move on at the end of this season. I want to challenge myself again."
Arriving at Old Trafford for a paltry £7million in January 2006, Vidic will go down in Manchester United folklore as one Ferguson's shrewdest ever signings and one of the greatest ever centre backs to play at Old Trafford.
As an additional blow he will certainly strengthen the defense of one of Manchester United's
European rivals by completing a free transfer at the close of the campaign.
Vidic's impending exit will be another blow to the reign of
manager David Moyes. Aged only 32 Vidic was young enough but experienced enough to help guide the club through its current rebuilding phase.
His departure will place fresh pressure on the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to step up and claim a centre back role.
Although both players are seen as natural centre backs they have featured more often at right back and centre midfield respectively.
Vidic's departure adds an extra and unwelcome dimension to Manchester United's summer rebuilding plans.
Not only do they now need a left back and centre midfielder they now also need to replace
the foundation of the team.
It also makes this season's target of a top four finish all the more difficult.
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