According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Internazionale are closing on a deal for Serbian international star Nemanja Vidic.
The uncompromising defender revealed last week that he will quit Manchester United at the end of the current season, when his contract expires. The former Spartak Moscow tough man has been at Old Trafford since January 2006, but he revealed he now feels this is the right time for one last challenge before he hangs up his boots.
There is sure to be much interest in taking Vidic on a free transfer, despite the injury problems which have dogged him in recent season. The 32-year-old featured in just six Premier League matches during the 2011-12 campaign, in which the Reds lost out to neighbours City for the title, and last term he managed just 19.
This time round the centre-half has started 17 times, but there have been question marks over his ability to perform at the very highest level. However, this is an accusation he is determined to quash during the remainder of the season, and one he also hopes will not prevent him from joining one of Europe’s elite clubs during the summer.
According to the reports in Italy, this challenge could well come at one of the biggest clubs in Serie A. Inter were linked with the Serbian even before he announced his intention to quit Old Trafford, so this speculation has inevitably grown in recent days. Gazzetta claims the president of the club, Erick Thohir, could even wrap up a deal this month.
It is believed the Indonesian businessman will offer Vidic a three-year contract, with a starting salary of €2.6million. The report even claims sporting director Piero Ausilio met with the United defender in London earlier this week, during which the Serb requested a dossier on current Serie A players as well as the teams and other information.
Vidic was in impressive form on Wednesday evening as the Reds drew at Arsenal 0-0. This result does little for their chances of finishing in the top-four, though, having endured a hugely frustrating debut season under David Moyes. The reigning champions are currently seventh in the table, 11 points off a UEFA Champions League place.
Since arriving in England for £7million Vidic has established himself as one of the best defenders in the country, and was a key man as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side won five Premier League titles and three League Cups. He was also in the side which won the Champions League in 2008, when the Manchester club beat Chelsea on penalties in Moscow.
Inter, meanwhile, are experiencing similar problems to United this season. Like the English giants, they too are 11 points off the pace for a place in the premier club competition in European football. However, should they, as expected, wrap up a deal for Vidic in the coming weeks, this will at least give their fans something to cheer about.