Manchester Untied were dealt a heavy blow on Tuesday as it became apparent that Nemanja Vidic, a loyal and exemplary leader to the club for eight years, would be leaving the club in the summer.
As Jamie Jackson of The Guardian reports, the player's agent, Silvano Martina, told Italian media that his client, out of contract in the summer, has several teams looking at him and is reluctant to prolong his stay at Old Trafford.
"Vidic is a very good player and will have no trouble finding a new club" he told Radio Crc in Napoli (given Martino's location, are we to assume Rafael Benitez's side could be a potential suitor?). He continued: "For the time being we are remaining calm. However, at the moment, I would rule out an extension with Manchester United."
Purchased for £7 million from Spartak Moscow in January 2006, Vidic has made almost 200 league appearances, with the Serbian playing a vital part in delivering many of United's trophies over the last few seasons.
To complement his five EPL titles, he was on the winning side of the 2008 Champions League final as Manchester United overcame Chelsea on penalties to capture the hallowed trophy on a rain-soaked pitch in Moscow.
Even after this news broke, the player showed professionalism to score what could prove to be a valuable goal in the first leg of their semi-final League Cup game on Tuesday night. Rising high to powerfully head home as United lost 2-1 at Sunderland, he deserved better than to be on the same side as a team who have lost three consecutive games.
But to further muddy the waters and compound United's misery, Rio Ferdinand—Vidic's partner at centre-back, fitness-pending—is also out of contract in the summer. Despite the club having an option to extend his deal for another year (something they do not have with Vidic), it is a very real prospect that United will lose the English centre-half in a double whammy, recouping no transfer fee from either player in the process.
As The Independent's Sam Wallace discusses, David Moyes may well forego major acquisitions in the Janaury transfer window—citing the fact that certain players simply aren't available and that an overhaul in the summer would make more financial sense.
With Vidic's looming exit, he can add one—maybe two—central defenders to that shopping list. Having produced some of the world's finest defenders imaginable (Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Claudio Gentile, Giacinto Fiachetti, etc) Italy's Serie A could represent a ripe place to purchase.
Let's explore potential imports who may pique the interests of Moyes, United and their fanbase.