Serie A giants Inter Milan should cut their losses on defender Nemanja Vidic and return the Serbian to former club Manchester United when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.
The 33-year-old was only released by the Premier League side in the summer, but his poor form has given new Inter manager Roberto Mancini a decision to make regarding his future.
And, with United’s defence currently insipid and lacking a leader of Vidic’s quality, a January move could suit all three parties.
If the Serb is to return to the Old Trafford he would be welcomed back with open arms given his many years of service under the stewardship of former managers Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes.
It was amid the wreckage of the latter’s reign that he signed on with the Italian side, but that he was denied a successful swan-song may prompt him to return to the club where he established himself as the best defender in world football.
After arriving in 2006 he went on to play a key role in dethroning Chelsea as champions one year later, before helping the Red Devils to further domestic success with two more Premier League titles in the two years that followed.
There was also glory and disappointment on the European stage, with Vidic starting the triumphant Champions League final of 2008 and also starting the finals of 2009 and 2011, where Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona reigned supreme.
Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 then ushered in an era of unpredictability over on Mancunian shores, and he chose to leave for Serie A with five league titles, three league cup’s and one European success under his belt.
Inter’s current struggles led to the sacking of Walter Mazzarri, with the side sitting ninth in the league table and 12 points off league leaders and current champions Juventus. Vidic himself has endured a miserable time, having failed to impress fans and pundits alike despite his signing being welcomed as marquee by the club back in the summer.
He looks a player jaded by expectation, with age and injuries also taking their toll on a former giant of the game. There is still time for him to recapture the form of old under Mancini, but the Italian should cut his losses and move for a younger defender in his place.
If Van Gaal, and not Moyes, had been appointed as Ferguson’s successor then Vidic might still have been a United player. The Dutchman has seen his back-line depleted by injuries during the early embers of his reign, with Rafael Da Silva, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo all currently on the sidelines.
He may have to call upon one of young duo Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett for the visit of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal at the weekend, and should push on with an attempt to bring Vidic back to the club in order to prevent his defence being so heavily depleted in the future.