MANCHESTER UNITED captain Nemanja Vidic is to leave the English Premier League champions at the end of the season, the Serbia defender announced Friday.
“I have decided that I will move on at the end of this season,” he said in a statement on the club’s official website. “It’s the last year of my contract and I have had eight wonderful years here.”
British press reports suggested the 32-year-old had not been offered an extension to his current Old Trafford contract and Vidic, who insisted he did not want to play for another club in England.
“I want to challenge myself again and try to make the best of myself in the coming years,” Vidic explained. “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.”
He added: “I’ve got a few options to move on and I will choose the right one for me and for my family.”
Under the Bosman regulations, Vidic can now talk to clubs outside of England amid speculation he could be on his way to join Italian giants Inter Milan.
Vidic arrived at Old Trafford in 2005 in a £7 million ($11.4m, 8.4m euros) move from Russia’s Spartak Moscow.
He became a key figure in nearly all of United’s subsequent trophy triumphs and last term captained United to an historic 20th English title — his fifth and the club’s last under Alex Ferguson before the celebrated Scottish manager retired.
However, he made only 19 league appearances last season after he was laid low by a severe knee injury first suffered in a shock Champions League defeat by Swiss side Basel in 2011 that led to two major operations.