Date: 15th October 2012 at 11:58pm
Written by:
Nemanja Vidic

"He comes from Serbia.."

As the old saying goes, “every man has his price” – and more often than not, this is found to be true.

In your working life, would you leave your current employer to go and work elsewhere for twice as much money? It is a no brainer, right? So why should footballers be any different?

There is an argument that most Premier League footballers already earn more money in a month than most of us will see in a lifetime – so what difference does it make if they are a millionaire, a multi-millionaire or a billionaire? They still have more than they can spend in a lifetime.

Those of you who earn between £30k-40k per annum will understand and appreciate the volume of additional tax you pay on that final £6,000. You lose 40% of it. Seems pointless to have an additional £6,000 on your salary only to see £3,600 of it.

Those of you lucky enough to earn over £150,000 per year will realise that any earnings over this substantial amount actually sees you give 50% back to the taxman. Gutting to think you could be in a job which pays £500,000 per year only to actually clear just over half of it.

Yes, £250,000 per year (take home) is a serious amount of money, but giving up £250,000 cannot be nice; thus comes the temptation to go elsewhere and earn a cool million pounds per annum, in order to take home £500,000 of it… and so on.

Now, if rumours are to be believed, Manchester United captain, Nemanja Vidic is the top target of super-rich Russian outfit, Anzhi Makhachkala.

This club have already made Samuel Eto’o the highest paid footballer, ever – and are willing to match his wages on former Serbian captain, Vidic.

I am sure Vidic like any other human will have his head turned and contemplate the amount of Russian Rubles on show; however this isn’t the part of the saga which worries me. What worries me is that there are simply too many aspects of this deal which already fall easily into place.

Who would want to play in Russia?

Vidic spent two seasons at Spartak Moscow before joining United – so I am sure wouldn’t be put out by the weather or the standard of football on offer. Home from home for a Serbian guy.

Who would want to leave Manchester United?

Manchester United is by no means a selling club and is certainly amongst the elite clubs in world football. However, United simply do not have the resources to compete on a financial level. If it is a simple head to head between who can pay the guy more, United will lose.

In recent seasons, United have lost Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez – both worldwide superstars who felt they would have a better future away from Old Trafford. United are accustomed to seeing great players exit. Sometimes the choice of the club, sometimes the choice of the player.

Why would United sell their captain? 

If Vidic had stayed fit last season, would United have won the title? Losing by goal difference in the closest ever title race begs the question, did United really miss Vidic who was absent for the season – or was it down to bad luck that the title went elsewhere?

Furthermore, Sir Alex puts trust in young players and there is no shortage of quality replacement in central defence with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans at the club’s disposal. £40m is a lot to reject for a central defender who is now the wrong side of 30.

After a year on the sidelines, has Vidic returned as the player he was, or has he lost half a yard of pace like Sir Alex and co felt Jaap Stam did, all those years ago?

Letting Stam go to Lazio in 2001 because the coaching staff felt he hadn’t recovered from an injury will always be held as one of Ferguson’s biggest misjudgements.

Understandably, Stam was played off the park by a young Louis Saha for newly promoted Fulham – so Sir Alex was furious and very concerned big Jaap was no longer up for the job; but what defender doesn’t have a bad game?

After his United exit, the big Dutchman went on for another six seasons playing at the top level, bullying strikers across Europe, dominating games and making every United fan envious he wasn’t still playing in red.

For me, letting Vidic go will be on par with the Stam error.

I appreciate £40m is a lot of money to refuse, but it isn’t enough to replace Vidic with a defender of the same, or a higher, quality.

These days, with all the coaching, fitness and nutritional methods introduced into players’ lives, I believe Vidic still has five seasons playing at his peak ahead of him.

I fully hope that if the player’s head hasn’t been turned by the significant cash on offer, the club’s hasn’t been either.

To respond to me directly, I am on Twitter: @NathonW

For more Manchester Untied news and comment, follow: @RFFH


18 responses to “Will Sir Alex Risk Making His ‘Biggest Mistake’ Again?”

  1. Levi says:

    Some would argue we lost the league last year when we lost Vidic. 40 million Euros is a shiteload of money – especially for a defender. I can’t see Vidic wanting to leave United though – he won’t be handing in a transfer request any time soon.

    • NathonW says:

      Yeah you have to think that we wouldn’t have conceded six at home to City, or three at home to Blackburn with Vidic in the side which begs the question why does Sir Alex stick with Evans?

      • realist says:

        i would hazard a guess that SAF sticks with evans because since the injury to vidic, and coming off the back of 18 months poor form, mr evans has been our best defender, by far imo, and clearly the bosses opinion as well!

  2. Mike says:

    I don’t believe that Vidic want’s to leave. Afterall, he left Russia to play in the Premier League. It is a lot of money though. He would still add quite a bit of value for the next 5-7 years.

  3. tose says:

    maybe put it this way,,vidic or 40 mill in glazers pockets i would prefer vidic on the field cos he is not only a good defender ,he has charisma on the pitch and very strong presence…the 40 mill are useless for the fans ,they wont invest it anyway

  4. NathonW says:

    I agree with a lot of, if not all of the above.

    I would rather have the player than the money as money in a bank doesn’t win you trophies, great players do.

    I see Vidic playing at the top of his game for another five years.

    My biggest worry is this trust Sir Alex puts into Evans. He isn’t a great player at all.

  5. realist says:

    not convinced vida will be playing for another 5-6 years at our club tbh, and have not seen enough of him post knee surgery to properly assess how much it has affected him. im sure though if the boss thought we should cash in now while we can, a greater effort would be made to replace him well, particularly given our current uncertainties at the back!

  6. alanlununcle says:

    5 more years? Vidic would be 35~6, right? Surely, positional play will improve but his pace will inevitably be going gradually… I believe Vidic will still be able to compete at high level football in the next 3 years but beyond that who knows…

    BTW, who says Vidic wants to leave?

  7. NathonW says:

    OK maybe five seasons is optimistic, but he is only 30 isn’t he.

  8. Adam Brasco says:

    Stam was a big error but selling Vidic would be great business at 31. The same knee has now been operated on & he is not exactly the quickest – cash in next window or summer and get subotic or hummels in.

    • NathonW says:

      And if those two defenders aren’t available, we are left without Vidic and with money in the bank.

      Surely that would just make us Arsenal?

  9. ChrisW says:

    I don’t believe anyone is going to offer 40 million (pounds or Euros) for a 30 year old defender. The papers always exagerate. And I don’t believe Vidic is ready for lucrative semi-retirement in Russia. I bet he at least wants to win a few more trophies with us first.

    • NathonW says:

      Agreed – it would be as good as a semi retirement.

      He retired from international football to pro-long his career, so I cannot see him moving.

  10. Andrew says:

    I hope Vidic does actually recover from his injury and returns to his best. However the rumours of a move to Anzhi Makhachkala have been around for a while now.

    I don’t know how much they would even offer, but if its anything around £25-£40 million then I would say goodbye to Vidic. Manchester United does still run like a business and an offer of the magnitude, for a player who is now 30+, does not get rejected. Especially a player that has had injuries now.

    Vidic was a bargain at £7 million and has been terrific for the last 6 years, but Ferguson will know being able to get £30 million for him at 30-31 is too good to say no to. He will have to focus on developing Evans, Smalling and Jones for the long-term future.

    As for whether Vidic would go, its possible he would say no, but these deals usually only get to a certain point if the player wants the move. He has already played in Russia so he knows what to expect. Nobody saw Samuel Eto’o being sold by Inter Milan, especially not to Anzhi Makhachkala. Nobody could have seen Eto’o, one of the best strikers in the world, actually going to Russia. It happened though and it was because of money.