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Soccer: Inter land Vidic

Serb set to leave Manchester United after eight years

05 March, 17:21
Soccer: Inter land Vidic (By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) - Rome, March 5 - Inter Milan said Wednesday that they have reached a deal with Nemanja Vidic for the Manchester United captain to join them from next season.

The former Serbia centre back, 32, last month announced he would leave United at the end of the current campaign. He joined the English team in 2006, helping them win five Premier League titles in addition to the 2008 Champions League and Club World Cup, and has been their captain since 2010. "Vidic is a world-class player," Inter Chairman Erick Thohir said in a statement on the club website.

"I'm extremely happy to have completed this deal to bring Nemanja to Milan. "He's one of the world's best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree and charisma will be an asset to the team and help bring through our younger players. "He will bring added value to the club and is another piece of the great Inter side we are building".

Thohir, who took over the club last year, is seeking to get Inter back to the top of the game, after they experienced some disappointing seasons since winning an unprecedented Champions League-Serie A-Italian Cup treble in 2010.

They are currently fifth in Serie A, 28 points behind leaders Juventus and outside the qualification zone for next season's Champions League. Thohir, the head of the Indonesian consortium that in November made Inter Serie A's second foreign-controlled club after Americans moved in at AS Roma in 2011, will be hoping the signing of a big name like Vidic will help improve relations with fans.

Inter supporters have accused Thohir of being an absentee landlord for spending long periods outside Italy as the team's form deteriorated after the takeover.

Major protests by fans in January caused him to drop negotiations with Juventus to swap Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin for Montenegro forward Mirko Vucinic when the deal looked on the verge of being closed.

Vidic, a product of Red Star Belgrade's youth system, joined United from Spartak Moscow.

He made 56 appearances and scored two goals for Serbia before retiring from international football in 2011. Thohir is expected to have a clear-out in the closed season and offload veterans such as striker Diego Milito, midfielder Esteban Cambiasso and Walter Samuel.

Coach Walter Mazzarri, who only took over this season, is not certain to stay on after this season's disappointing campaign.

Captain Javier Zanetti, who has been with the club for 19 years, may stay on even though there is a chance that this will be the 40-year-old's last season as a player.

The Argentine said Tuesday that he hoped to keep working for Inter in some capacity, possibly as a director, having dismissed speculation he was set to join former Inter boss Josè Mourinho at Chelsea. "My bond with this club will never end," Zanetti said. "It does not depend on my contract".