Per Football Italia, the club released a statement to clarify the decision was one of mutual consent. They also shared this quote from Vidic, in which he thanked the club and its fans: "I thank the Nerazzurri family and the Inter fans. I wish the club great success in the future. Always, Forza Inter!"
Vidic joined Inter in 2014 after a lengthy and successful career with Manchester United, but he failed to replicate his form in Serie A. He had yet to appear in a match this season after undergoing hip surgery.
By releasing Vidic at this time, Inter have ensured the 34-year-old enters the transfer market as a free agent at a time when clubs are actively looking at reinforcements. This gives the veteran his best chance of landing with a new club quickly, and ESPN FC's Craig Burley expects there will be a number of interested Premier League sides:
Former Utd defender Vidic released by Inter. Fitness depending, should be enough desperadoes he could do a job for in the Prem short term— Craig Burley (@CBurleyESPN) January 12, 2016
The Serb represented Manchester United between 2006 and 2014 and was one of the most feared tacklers in the Premier League in his prime, known for his no-nonsense approach to defending and aerial prowess.
He won five Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League trophy with the Red Devils but visibly declined in his final years at Old Trafford, leading to his departure in 2014. He moved to Inter, hoping to prolong his career in Serie A, where defenders are asked to take a more patient approach and rely on vision and experience, rather than athleticism.
Vidic looked his age during his first season in Italy, however, and Inter invested in the likes of Jeison Murillo and Miranda, who have been among the top defenders in Serie A in 2015-16.
Even if Vidic managed to get back to his best form after the surgery, his chances of starting over either player would have been minimal.
Nostalgic fans may be hoping for a reunion at Old Trafford, but United blogger Adam Joseph thinks it's unlikely:
vidic released by inter. people talking about should #MUFC move for him or not. pains me to say this - get real, it's not 2008 anymore.— Adam Joseph (@adamjoseph_27) January 18, 2016
Per Sky Sports (for Fox Sports), reports from Serbia suggest there is significant interest from Major League Soccer, which may be the ideal destination for a player like Vidic.
At 34 years old, he's too young to retire, and his experience could be incredibly valuable to a club in the United States' top division.