Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed he and Nemanja Vidic mutually agreed the Serb would leave the club and says he will continue to captain the side until the end of the season.
The 32-year-old’s present contract with the Premier League champions expires at the end of the current season.
Moyes said: “It was something that we all mutually agreed together. Me, and Nemanja and I think it was the right decision for club and player.
“I think people know that I have things in my mind that I want to do, what I want to change over time. I cant do it overnight but that wasn’t the reason for this. This is a decision which has been mutually decided together. He felt it was the right time for him so we will get on with it and we will move on.”
After making his debut for the Red Devils at the age of 24, joining from Spartak Moscow for £7m, Vidic lifted the League title five times, won three League Cups, a Champions League and Club World Cup trophy. He captained United to their historic 20th top-flight title last season.
Moyes further stressed that the defender has always been a committed member of the squad and wouldn’t “lose focus” now.
“Not somebody like Vida (could now lose focus) given his concentration, the type of man he is and the leader he is,” added Moyes.
“He has been a great leader for the club, he has served the club brilliantly well and I would expect that to continue right until the end of the season.”
Since joining the Old Trafford club, Vidic’s partnership with Rio Ferdinand has been a huge factor for the club’s success in all tournaments. The pair have only started six games this season as Moyes has had to blood the younger generations.
Vidic told United’s website: “I’m not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is Manchester United. I never could have imagined winning 15 trophies. However, I have decided I will move on at the end of this season. I want to challenge myself again.
“I have had eight wonderful years here. My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career.
“I will certainly never forget that fantastic night in Moscow [when United beat Chelsea to win the 2008 Champions League], memories that will live with me and the fans for ever.”