By Greg Stobart
The Old Trafford giants are steeling themselves for a €40 million bid from the Russian club, and United are open to allowing the 30-year-old to leave with doubts increasing over the Serbia defender’s longevity and durability, following a second serious knee injury in less than 12 months.
Anzhi, meanwhile, who last year made Samuel Eto’o the highest paid footballer in the world when they bought the Cameroon star from Inter Milan, are said to be preparing an eye-popping €250,000-a-week salary in order to tempt Vidic back to Russia, where he spent two years with Spartak Moscow.
A cornerstone of United’s success since he joined the club for €8.7 million in 2006, Vidic missed the majority of his side’s trophyless campaign last season after he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury during the Champions League defeat against Basel 11 months ago.
Vidic returned to the side at the start of the current season but struggled to find his best form, before he damaged the same knee in the build-up to his side’s victory over Liverpool in September and underwent surgery that could force him out of action until January.
Sir Alex Ferguson has already planned for the future by recruiting Phil Jones from Blackburn and Chris Smalling from Fulham over the last 18 months, while last season he hailed Jonny Evan’s as one of the Premier League’s best defenders.
With United so well stocked in that area, the club would find it difficult to turn down the sort of extravagant bid Anzhi are rumoured to be in the process of making, although last week Vidic’s agent ruled out a potential move away from Old Trafford amid reported interest from Juventus.
“Vidic is not playing at this time because he’s had surgery, so he’s only thinking about his recovery and not about the transfer market,” Silvano Martina told itasportpress.it.
“Juventus are complete with their non-EU players for this season and it is highly unlikely they will make a bid for Vidic, therefore I can categorically rule out any interest from them.
“Vidic is already part of a top club and there are no negotiations with Juventus or Barcelona.”
While Vidic is not expected to return until December at the earliest, United are likely to welcome back Smalling for next Saturday’s Premier League clash against Stoke and Ferguson could be further boosted by the return of Jones for the crunch meeting with Chelsea a week later.