Manchester United enquired about re-signing former captain Nemanja Vidic back in January only for a deal to fail to materialise, according to the player’s agent.
The Serbian only left Old Trafford for a new challenge in Serie A with Inter Milan last summer, but has struggled for form as the club’s mission to secure a swift return to the Champions League looks likely to end in defeat.
And, as reported by the Mirror, with the likes of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling failing to fill the void left by their captain’s departure, Vidic’s agent has admitted United were desperate to land their former leader in an effort to bolster their squad ahead of the closing months of the season.
Any potential move to bring Vidic back to the Theatre of Dreams would have been greeted with widespread approval from fans and pundits alike given the experience and obvious defensive qualities he would bring to the squad.
He opted to jump ship amid the wreckage of the turbulent David Moyes era, but with Louis Van Gaal since having taken over the reins his decision to leave the club now looks premature.
Alongside Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra he became an integral part of the side that dominated the English game under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, winning five Premier League titles and one Champions League trophy during his time in English football.
The departure of the Scot has since prompted a mass exodus from within the club, but despite his best years clearly long behind him Van Gaal still made a bid to bring him back as a means of strengthening his team’s inconsistent defence.
With Inter keen to propel themselves back into the midst of Europe’s elite, ex-manager Walter Mazzarri lured the Serbian to the San Siro to replace the experience lost by the departures of Javier Zanetti, Diego Milito and Esteban Cambiasso.
But while the Italian has since been replaced by Roberto Mancini, Vidic has continued to struggle and is now spending his time in Italy languishing on the substitutes bench as Mancini attempts to steer them to a Europa League finish.
The club are keen to embark on another summer of spending having recruited Lukas Podolski, Davide Santon and Xherdan Shaqiri over the course of the winter break, and the ex-United defender knows he could be forced out if he fails to shine outside of the Premier League.
Vidic is now unlikely to return with Van Gaal having identified his chief transfer targets for the end of the season.
Mats Hummels is set to leave Borussia Dortmund given the way they have struggled under Jurgen Klopp this season, whilst Lazio defender Stefan De Vrij could also be on the move despite having only joined the Serie A side last summer.