Nemanja Vidic‘s agent implied that the defender may be open to a move away from Manchester United after the World Cup finishes.Vidic has spent all season claiming that he is happy at the club and wants to stay here for the next two seasons at least, even having the nerve to get frustrated with speculation that he is seeking a transfer, so it seems fairly puzzling that the agent is now waiting on Vidic’s decision on his future.
United fans have anticipated his departure for some time, after winning three Premiership titles, the European Cup, the Club World Cup and three League Cups in his four and a half seasons with the club. He’s been there and done it as far as success in England is concerned and with him turning 29-years-old in a few months, you can hardly begrudge him showing an interest in moving on. His wife also has a lot to say about where he goes, and despite comments from Vidic to the contrary, she would obviously prefer settling down in sunny Madrid or Barcelona.
In the December just gone, Vidic came 16th in Ballon d’Or, which meant he is the most highly rated defender in all of Europe. With two years left on his current deal, if United are to sell him this summer, we should get some good money for him. If Real Madrid are the club lucky enough to sign him, then we really could milk it. Whether Sir Alex Ferguson will be prepared to sell Vidic is another matter though, given that Rio Ferdinand has shown himself up as a liability where injuries are concerned and Chris Smalling almost certainly won’t be ready for a starting place next season. Jonny Evans is the only cert we’d have in the centre of defence if Vidic was to go, so, like he did with Ronaldo in the summer of 2008, may delay the transfer.
However, the papers have been linking Vidic with a £20m to City today. Do I need to go through the reasons why this is a load of rubbish? Ok, but only quickly. 1. £20m is nothing. 2. He wouldn’t go to City (like all the other best players in the world who turn them down every time the transfer market opens) because a) they’re not good enough, b) he can make the money they would offer at plenty of clubs, c) Champions League, d) winning trophies, e) wife wants sunshine and 3. As if Ferguson would sell one of our best players to City. In conclusion, Vidic may well be off, but don’t worry about him doing a Tevez.
If we do lose Vidic, Simon Kjaer has been named as a potential replacement, with the club’s president claiming he is for sale, at the right price. “I have had requests from United and City,” he said. “But there are still differences between what we want and what they are offering.”
The 21-year-old Danish defender has spent the past two seasons at Palermo, who finished 5th last season and 8th the season before. He is a starting player for Danish team but really grabbed the headlines this season when making comments about Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming the team needed to take turns fouling him and giving away freekicks, before making one hard foul worthy of a yellow card.
He was first linked to United last year with the defender keen to sign for United over the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea. Manchester City‘s interest this year means the transfer fee will be driven up although I have to wonder if this is a deal Fergie will be seriously interested in. With Jonny Evans establishing himself nicely and the inexperienced Chris Smalling already being bought, you have to question whether another young defender is what we need. Vidic was only 24 when he came to United, but that was still with 4 years in the International team as well as well over 100 appearances for his two previous clubs. Kjaer is some way short of this feat and I’m sure United have time to wait for another young defender to develop.
Michael Ballack left Chelsea on a free this week after failing to come to an agreement with his club. He left Bayern Munich on a Bosman and now he is set to do the same to Chelsea, after collecting a £125k a week salary for the past four years. I was surprised to see him go but more surprised to learn the club didn’t even let him know that they were going to release him. His agent told the press they learnt of his departure at the same time as everyone else, with Chelsea not even having the decency to let him know they weren’t going to offer him a contract. Classy.
Ballack isn’t the player he once was but he could have done a job at Chelsea for another season. To learn that the press are linking him with a move to United for this summer though seems fairly ridiculous. His legs are gone and he’s just about to turn 34-years-old. Aside from the fact he will almost certainly seek a move back to Germany, United surely can’t be that desperate. I would have loved us to sign him back in 2006 but he thought he was too good for us. The fact that United have won three of the four league titles he has been in England for, as well beating his team in the European Cup final, seemed like a nice bit of justice for me. I would be desperately disappointed if we gave him a second chance at having “Manchester United” on his CV. He turned down the opportunity of being a United player and winning loads more trophies to sign for a club that got rid of him without even having the decency to tell him. Unlucky.
“Chelsea do not have the history of Liverpool or Manchester United,” Ballack conceded during the week, maybe to get himself noticed. Liverpool are set to lose Javier Mascherano to Inter Milan this summer so stranger things have happened, particularly given that some German clubs have already distanced themselves from Ballack because of his wage demands. Maybe even Mourinho would be interested in taking him to Real Madrid, if you don’t believe that Ballack was a player Abramovich bought on behalf of Jose at Chelsea. Either way, you can’t imagine Fergie spending some of our precious money on paying a central midfielder who is past it.
Milos Krasic has been strongly linked with a move to United in the past, with the Serbian turning down a move to City in January in hope of signing for United. Bayern Munich were apparently the favourites to sign him last month, whilst now it looks as though he is going to join Rafa Benitez at Inter Milan. “There was interest from the top clubs in England, but they weren’t quick enough,” his agent revealed today.