Manchester United FC keep getting bad news as Serbian defensive mainstay Nemanja Vidic has ruled out a contract extension with the club after his current one ends this summer. This came from his agent, Silvano Martina, in an interview with Radio CRC. He also indicated that Napoli was a potential destination for the defender. Although he stopped short of indicating that the club had already expressed an interest in acquiring Vidic, the announcement being made on a Napoli radio show seems a bit more than mere coincidence.
Manager, David Moyes, will continue to pursue keeping him at Manchester United, but he has a lot on his plate at the moment. With the possibility of Rooney also leaving this summer, along with Moyes’ demonstrated determination to move forward with a younger look, there appear to be more reasons to support Vidic leaving than staying. After a 2-1 defeat in the Capital One Cup match against Sunderland, coming on the heels of an FA Cup loss to Swansea that knocked them out in the third round, Moyes appears to be on a sinking ship. Captain, Vidic, shows no indication that he want to go down with that ship. Amid public announcements from his agent that Vidic would be a highly marketable commodity and have no problem finding another club to engage his services, it certainly appears that he may be ready to go over to Napoli.
While Vidic’s agent may have ruled out a contract extension with Manchester United now, during the transfer window, it may be that things could change before his current contract expires this summer. Regardless of what posturing Martina is engaging in at the moment, the truth is that with the recurring injury to his knee, Vidic may not be in as much demand as he thinks. He has been a staple of the Manchester United defense for a long time, and that connection may ultimately be worth more in terms of a contract than what any other club may be willing to offer an injury-ridden 32 year-old. It is unlikely that any manager will be under more pressure than Moyes from club fans to hold onto this sentimental favorite.
A lot will depend on whether or not he is able to contribute significantly to the club’s attempted climb out of the hole they are currently in. If he is able to duplicate the impact he has had in the past to help pull Manchester United up the standings, Moyes might be inclined to offer a bigger portion of his reported £200 million bank to the Serbian. On the flip side, demonstrating his ability to impact his side in that manner would make him all the more desirable to any club that might be considering pursuing Vidic. With so much depending on his fitness, it is unlikely that any offers other than what might come from his negotiations with Moyes will be coming until it gets closer to the end of his contract.
With the Premier League pundits all wondering if Moyes is about to be fired after seeing the club’s worst performance in years, pressure is on to make the right decisions. The battle to hang on to Rooney is clearly the number one priority at the moment, despite indications that there will not be a decision made until after the World Cup. Beyond that, he also needs to figure out what moves, if any, he will be making in the window to get some help for the failing club. He knows that he has some time to make the decision on Vidic, and will probably not be swayed to action by Martina’s interview. If Vidic has, indeed, ruled out a contract extension with Manchester United, Moyes will have no choice to move on from him sooner rather than later.
By Jim Malone