Manchester United could stun supporters by re-signing former captain Nemanja Vidic when the transfer window re-opens in January.
The Express report that Vidic could be shown the door by Inter Milan after failing to impress at the San Siro since joining the club in the summer. The 33-year-old has made eight appearances for the Italian giants but has struggled to produce his best form.
And with Manchester United in desperate need of defensive reinforcements, Red Devils’ boss Louis van Gaal may agree to hand the former Serbia international an initial six-month contract.
Vidic: United hero
Vidic spent eight years at Old Trafford before deciding to leave the club in February, when David Moyes was still in charge at the club and United were faltering badly in the Premier League table.
A talismanic defender for Manchester United, Vidic will always be a hero in the eyes of the club’s supporters, many of whom would welcome the veteran centre-half back with open arms.
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United have been linked with a host of defenders in recent weeks, with the club’s current batch of centre-backs either unproven or injury-prone.
Van Gaal has doubts over centre-backs
Van Gaal has doubts over all three of his first-choice central defenders - Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans - but is reluctant to spend big money on an unproven Premier League player such as Bruno Martins Indi or Ezequiel Garay.
Mats Hummels, meanwhile, looks certain to stay with Borussia Dortmund, and Gerard Pique reportedly favours a January move to Chelsea.
Manchester United have also lacked leadership at the back so far this season, but that problem would be resolved with the signing of Vidic, who knows Old Trafford inside out and might relish the chance to return now that Moyes has been replaced by Van Gaal.
Vidic made a total of 300 appearances for the Red Devils, who are expected to line-up against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon with a makeshift central defence comprised of Michael Carrick and Paddy McNair.
Unless Van Gaal solves United’s defensive crisis in January, it’s likely that the club will miss out on a place in the Champions League for a second successive season.
But Vidic could be the answer to Van Gaal’s - and Manchester United’s - prayers.