Nemanja Vidic

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Former Manchester United champion Nemanja Vidic retires

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Longtime Manchester United defender and five-time Premier League champion Nemanja Vidic has announced his retirement, having left Inter Milan by mutual consent.

Vidic, who captained the Red Devils for three of his eight seasons at Old Trafford, was rumored to be a target of Aston Villa, but chose to retire instead.

“The time has come for me to hang up my boots,” he told Manchester United’s official website. “The injuries I have had in the last few years have taken their toll. I would like to thank all the players I have played with, all the managers and staff I have worked with, and say a big thank you to the fans for their support over the years.”

Having begun his career in his native Serbia with Red Star Belgrade, Vidic joined the Red Devils as a January transfer in the 2005/06 season from Spartak Moscow. During his career, Vidic won five Premier League titles, the 2008 Champions League, three League Cups, and two Club World Cups, all with Manchester United and many alongside Rio Ferdinand. At the expiry of his contract in the summer of 2014, Vidic moved to Inter Milan, where injuries caused his Italian experiment to produce mixed results. He made 23 Serie A appearances last season, but has not featured this year due to hernia surgery back in August.

Ferdinand commented on Vidic’s retirement via his Facebook page, saying that initially Vidic was “judged” in the Manchester United locker room looking “out of his depth.”

“But he worked on his strength in the gym,” Ferdinand wrote, “worked out what was needed for him to succeed in the Premier League and then started to establish himself in our team. He became a defender that was feared. He could fight with the most physical, he crunched into tackles, and he attacked the ball better than anyone I have ever seen.”

Vidic had success with the Serbian national team as well, making 56 total appearances, including 10 in 2006 World Cup qualification (for then Serbia and Montenegro) in which the team conceded just one goal, a European qualification record. Vidic was unable to participate in the 2006 World Cup, however, because of a red card suspension plus a subsequent knee injury he suffered in training. He again led his country to an outstanding defensive record in 2010 World Cup qualification.

Inter Milan to cancel Nemanja Vidic’s contract; MLS move next?

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Nemanja Vidic will looking for a new club as Inter Milan is set to terminate his contract in Italy.

Multiple reports claim the club and player have mutually agreed to part ways after a disappointing year-and-a-half at the San Siro.

[ MORE: Jonjo Shelvey joins Newcastle ]

The former Manchester United captain joined Inter in July of 2014, making 23 Serie A appearances in his first year with the club. However, he has not played at all this season after undergoing hernia surgery in August.

Vidic played nine seasons at United and won fifteen trophies with the club, including five Premier League titles and a Champions League title. He was twice named Premier League Player of the Season and made the PFA Team of the Year four times during his tenure at Old Trafford.

[ RELATED: Van Gaal admits to being bored during by Manchester United games ]

Now 34-years-old, Vidic is no longer considered one of the top center-backs in the world. However, he still has a few years left in the tank and could contribute to a team willing to pay his relatively high wages.

Early reports state Vidic is exploring a possible move to Major League Soccer. Inter Milan president Erick Thohir is also the owner of D.C. United, which could be a landing spot should the veteran defender choose MLS as his next stop.

Report reveals Premier League spenders and gainers with financial breakdown

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A report from BT Sport has a breakdown of the wage expenditure and profit/loss number for teams in the Premier League from the 2013/14 season, and as you’d expect, it’s quite a lot, especially at the top.

The rival clubs from the north of England came in at the top of the wage list, with Manchester United leading the way $322.6 million and Manchester City right behind at $306 million. What’s that gotten them this season? Third and fourth place this season in the Premier League table, so far.

Chelsea, the runaway league leaders and almost certain winners are third in wage bill at $288.1 million, having brought in the likes of Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic in the summer. They’ve overachieved their wage bill slot, but not nearly as much as Southampton. We saw the Saints have posted their first net profit for the first time since they were placed into administration, but this may be more impressive. Their wage bill, sitting at just $82.5 million, is good for 16th in the Premier League, but they still sit in seventh position having ridden their youth stars to top flight success.

As the report points out, Queens Park Rangers are the farthest from their wage bill in the opposite direction, struggling in a relegation battle sitting in 19th position, but carrying a salary figure of $112.5 million for owner Tony Fernandes to navigate. At the bottom of the wage list are promoted sides Leicester City and Burnley, with $54.27 respectively and $32.1 million respectively.

Of the Premier League table’s top seven teams hoping to secure a place in European play, only one returned a net loss on the season, Manchester City with a $34 million loss, which is the largest loss in the Premier League, but less than last season’s financial black hole of $77 million. QPR ended up with the league’s largest operating loss of $97.6 million, but a debt writeoff lowered it to just a loss of $14.5 million. Other teams posting a loss include Sunderland, Aston Villa, Leicester City, and Burnley.

The most profitable club in the Premier League by far was Tottenham, who posted a $97 million profit thanks in large part to the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.

Late Thursday transfer rumor roundup: Vidic part of Inter/Liverpool swap?

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Some juicy little nuggets have come out as the evening comes to a close on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Nemanja Vidic left a much-criticized Premier League defense last season for Inter Milan, and now Italian publication Calciomercato claims Liverpool will attempt to bring the Serbian back to England. It’s said that it will cost Lucas Leiva in a swap deal. Would the Anfield set support the swap?

[ MORE: Early roundup — Suarez, Balotelli, Lambert ]

Ilkay Gundogan has been oft-linked with Manchester United this window despite being a young and important part of Borussia Dortmund. Why? Well because Dortmund wants him to sign a contract extension soon — his current deal runs through 2016 — and he hasn’t gone for it. The 24-year-old could likely have his choice of landing spots, with Arsenal also interested again.

Manchester United has also been linked with Dutch superstar Kevin Strootman, but the AS Roma man has again poured cold water on the Red Devils.

“I signed for five years here,” he told Sky Italia.

“I’ve only played for six or seven months [due to injury]. I want to play, help the team, this is important to me. I’m not talking to other teams.”

It’ll be weird to see Aaron Lennon anywhere but Tottenham, but it seems he’s on his way out of White Hart Lane. Everton is said to be in the driver’s seat for his services, but Stoke, Sunderland and his hometown Hull City are said to be interested, as is Tony Pulis (but we told you that last week).

And Swansea boss Garry Monk has spoken up on what it will take to get striker Wilfried Bony from Wales to Manchester City:

“But, in terms of money, Wilfried has to be up there. You look at guys like Romelu Lukaku and the money they went for. Compare their contributions with Bony’s, it’s pretty much a no brainer.

“I think the club is very clear on what he is worth and I can see why the club are holding out for the figure they are holding out for. If they haven’t quite met that valuation, and that’s what the situation must be, otherwise I am sure the deal would have been done, Huw will wait for it and quite rightly so. I assure you Bony is worth it.”

Lukaku cost $42 million, and that move has yet to be electric for Everton. Is Bony closer to a sure thing (especially given Man City’s service providers)?

 

Is Nemanja Vidic on his way back to Manchester United?

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This couldn’t really happen… could it?

Reports have started to gather steam that Nemanja Vidic could be on his way back to Manchester United in January.

[RELATED: Van Gaal isn’t planning additions]

Vidic, 33, was allowed to leave Old Trafford on a free transfer last season and signed a one-year deal with Italian side Inter Milan after eight seasons with United.

The imposing defender lifted the UEFA Champions League title with the Red Devils in 2008 as well as five Premier League titles, as he become a cult-hero among United’s fans. However under David Moyes last season, Vidic fell out of favor and became increasingly frustrated with life at United.

Since moving to Inter last summer the towering center half has failed to make a lasting impression in Serie A and given United’s current defensive issues, Louis van Gaal could certainly do with some more reinforcements at the back after losing Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo to injury, plus Chris Smalling to suspension.

Would Vidic returning be a good idea for both parties? Probably not.

The Serbian destroyer left Old Trafford at the end of a disappointing campaign last year and may want to have one last crack at winning silverware with the club where he made his name. But United need help in defense right now, so a short-term deal in January on a six-month contract would make sense as he aims for a more fitting farewell to the Old Trafford faithful.

Personally, I think Vidic should move elsewhere if things aren’t working out for him at Inter. His legendary status at United already took a hit after several shaky displays last season and being benched by Moyes.