The timing of Manchester United‘s announcement that Nemanja Vidic will leave at the end of the season is a strange but perhaps cautious move.
The 32-year-old Serbian has been a United player since December 2005 and has won five Premier League titles at Old Trafford. But with his time at the club now coming to a close it was a strange time to announce such news.
Rarely in the past has the club announced such information to become a headline mid-season. But with United’s struggles on the pitch continuing, it doesn’t seem clear to me as to why now would be a good time to state that the current club captain should leave.
Manager David Moyes said that the departure was a mutual agreement, and it does make sense that United need to move into a new era. But I am not sure now was the best time to put more fuel on the fire regarding rumors that the players aren’t behind Moyes.
It does suggest Vidic has little hope of United qualifying for the Champions League this season, and as the club captain what does that really give as a message to the fans and rest of the squad?
There is of course the other possibility — the club made the move to announce his departure before any other outlets reported that a deal had been made with another club. Yet once again it reflects the differences from Moyes’ time at the club to the way Sir Alex Ferguson ran things. Ferguson rarely allowed anything to slip out into the open and kept any information that was considered private as exactly that. With gossip about last week about Vidic it wouldn’t be a surprise if that was the reason behind this strange and early announcement of his exit.