Nemanja Vidic has been linked with a move away for United all season, despite the player’s constant reassurance that he was staying until the end of his current contract, which expires in 2012.

I argued that may well be his plan but there was no way United were going to let him go on a free transfer, so would probably sell him to Real Madrid next summer once the likes of Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling had another year of Premiership football under their belts, and any other potential replacement had been spotted.

However, following United’s win in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Sir Alex Ferguson was very non-committal when asked about Vidic’s future, saying: “I can’t clarify it at all” when asked about speculation about him leaving. When pressed and asked whether the Serb would play for the Manchester team this season, Ferguson replied: “I believe so.”

So it comes as a great surprise, and relief, that Vidic is ready to put pen to paper on a contract extension.

“There was a lot of speculation about Nemanja’s future, but in my view it’s been the media drumming some old stories because they certainly didn’t come out of the Manchester United camp and I’m confident they didn’t come out of Nemanja’s camp,” said David Gill. “We sat down with Nemanja and his advisor at the end of last season and started discussions. They broke up when Nemanja went away to the World Cup, but resumed when Serbia were knocked out and I’m very pleased to confirm that we agreed terms with Nemanja three or four weeks ago on a new long-term deal with the club. It’s yet to be signed – the paperwork is now being sorted by our lawyers and being checked by Nemanja’s advisors. He’s still away on holiday but the plan is that when he gets back the papers will be signed. We’ve shaken hands on it and we’re confident it will all be signed and sealed in early August. It’s great news for Manchester United and great news for Nemanja and the fans.”

What a result!