'He didn't call me back!' - Nemanja Vidic reveals he could have signed for Man United's rivals ahead of Old Trafford move
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Nemanja Vidic has revealed how former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez helped scupper a move to Anfield ahead of his stunning transfer to Manchester United.
Sir Alex Ferguson brought Vidic to Old Trafford in 2006 for £7m from Spartak Moscow, with the legendary former United boss praising him as “really natural and athletic” at the time.
Vidic went on to excel at United and forged a formidable partnership with Rio Ferdinand in the heart of the Red Devils’ defence under Ferguson.
The 41-year-old former defender, who later became club captain, lifted five Premier League titles, a Champions League and three League Cups during his time at United.
Vidic would leave United in 2014 and went on to briefly play for Inter Milan before calling it time on his glittering career in 2016.
The former Serbia international was recently reunited with fellow United legend Ferdinand after making an appearance on his ex-teammate’s Vibe with Five show.
Vidic admitted that Benitez “was first in touch” with him when he played for Spartak and urged him to make a move to England.
However, the United legend revealed that the 63-year-old Spaniard didn’t call him back for “two or three weeks,” which opened the door for Ferguson to make a swoop.
“The first moment I was in contact with the club [United] was December 2005. But at the time Liverpool was also involved,” Vidic said.
“I spoke with Rafa Benitez and he was the one who was first in touch with me when I was at Spartak Moscow.
“My English was not good, my wife Ana was actually talking to him because my English was not great.
“He was asking me if I want to come to England and certain things, everything was great.
“And then he didn’t call me back for two or three weeks. Fergie obviously got in touch.
“He called and said, ‘I’ve been looking at you for the last six months to a year, I like the way you play. I think you’ll be good for the club. Do you want to join?’
“I said of course, he said, ‘Everything will be settled’ and then in one week I was in Manchester.”
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