By Josh Reich
Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic will join Inter Milan in the close season after eight years of success with the English champions, the Serie A side announced on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old Serbia central defender said last month he would be leaving the Premier League club at the end of this term and was looking at moving to a team outside England.
“Vidic is a world-class player,” Inter president Erick Thohir told the club’s website (www.inter.it).
“I’m extremely happy to have completed this deal to bring Nemanja to Milan. He’s one of the world’s best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree and charisma will be an asset to the team and help bring through our younger players.
“He will bring added value to the club and is another piece of the great Inter side we are building,”
Vidic joined United in 2006, winning a host of trophies, including five Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Club World Cup.
He forged a strong partnership with Rio Ferdinand at the heart of United’s defence, although his effectiveness has suffered with niggling injuries.
He has also struggled for playing time this season with new manager David Moyes looking to rejuvenate his squad.
In February Vidic announced he would leave United when his contract expired at the end of this season and he was strongly linked with a move to Inter, fifth in Serie A but having won only two league matches out of ten so far this year.
At the time, Vidic said: “I’m not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is Manchester United and I was lucky enough to be part of this club for so many years”.
Moyes later said the decision for Vidic to leave the club was a mutual one.
United have struggled since Moyes replaced retired fellow Scot Alex Ferguson at the start of the season, with their hopes of retaining the title all but gone as they sit in seventh spot, 18 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
They are also 12 points away from fourth-placed rivals Manchester City, who occupy the last Champions League qualifying spot and have a game in hand on United.