Nemanja Vidic is only starting to recover his form, but the Manchester United captain could be playing in Italy by the time he returns to his best level.
AC Milan has made Vidic its top summer transfer target, and United could be ready to part ways with its longtime defensive stalwart. The Italian club will bid £10 Million ($15.1 million) plus add-ons to land the Serbian defender, Goal.com reports.
“With a quality center-back the priority for the Rossoneri, their eyes have turned towards the Serbian, whose contract is set to expire in 2014,” the report says.
“He has featured in only 18 of a possible 44 club games so far this season, the first leg of his side’s crucial Champions League clash with Real Madrid among his higher-profile absences.
“Added to his contractual situation and age of 31, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson would be willing to entertain offers of £10 million or above for his skipper, despite any sale likely to prove unpopular with fans.”
Vidic is in his seventh season at United. The center-back is closing in on his fifth Premier League title with the Red Devils, adding to the three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League and one FIFA Club World Cup winners’ medals he has already earned at Old Trafford.
Calf and knee problems injuries have sidelined Vidic for much of the past 18 months, and the club is cautiously managing him back to peak fitness. His injury nightmare, combined with the emergence of a new generation defenders at the club might have convinced Ferguson that the defender’s best years are behind him and his future lies elsewhere.
Despite his injury troubles, Vidic has continually attracted interest from around Europe. Real Madrid reportedly prepared a transfer bid before his first calf injury in August 2011. Juventus, Barcelona and Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala have reportedly maintained their interests in him throughout the current season.
Milan is living in an age of financial restraint, so it is centering its rebuilding project around young players with high-potential. But Milan fans are not known for their patience. They will expect the club to shore up its defense as it hopes to contend for next season’s Serie A title.
Milan officials could see Vidic as a quick fix, while their United counterparts could be ready to usher another fading force out of the exit door.
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Photo via Faceboook/Nemanja Vidić