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Nemanja Vidic Recalls How He Accidentally Took A Pay Cut When Joining Manchester United

By Gary Connaughton Updated
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While he would initially arrive at Old Trafford as a relatively unheralded signing, Nemanja Vidic would go on to become one of the best defenders to play in the Premier League during his time at Manchester United.

The Serb would win five league titles, three League Cups, and a Champions League during his eight-year stay at the club. He would also be named as captain and form one of the great centre back partnerships alongside Rio Ferdinand.

His time at the club got off to a difficult start. He initially struggled to settle in the UK, speaking little English and struggling for form on the pitch.

All of that has long been forgotten, but Vidic has now recalled the whirlwind nature of his initial move to the club.

Nemanja Vidic recalls details of Manchester United move

While Nemanja Vidic is now a Manchester United legend, he actually came close to ending up at a different English club. A Spartak Moscow player at the time, he was actually in negotiations to join Liverpool in December of 2005.


Speaking on FIVE with Rio Ferdinand, he said that Rafael Benitez's failure to follow up his initial interested opened the door for him to move to Old Trafford.

[Watch Video]



At the time Liverpool were involved. I spoke to Rafael Benitez, he was the one that was first in touch with me. I was at Spartak Moscow and my English was not good, my wife was actually talking to him because my English was not great.

He was asking me if I wanted to come to England and certain things. Everything was great and then for two or three weeks he didn't call.

Then Fergie got in touch with me. I was told 'Fergie is going to call you'...

In one week I was in Manchester.

Vidic never looked back once United confirmed their interest, quickly making his way to Manchester to complete the deal.


The charm offensive was laid on heavy by Alex Ferguson after his arrival, who escorted him to various spots around the city and even carried his bags for him. The defender showed little hesitation in signing the deal presented to him, although he would realise after leaving for Russia that he had inadvertently accepted to pay cut despite moving to much wealthier club.

When I came Alex Ferguson was waiting, the whole trip he was there. This is a story I want to share.

When we came, we went to a hotel to see the players when they had a dinner there. I was sitting with Cristiano Ronaldo and Louis Saha at the dinner.

After that, Fergie took us to another hotel. He was taking my bags from me and putting them in the back. I thought 'wow, he's taking my bags, this is amazing, a story I have to tell the guys'.

We went to the hotel, everything was great. The next day I had negotiations on my future, all of that was done. The next day he took us to the airport, the same again with the bags and said 'see you in ten days'.

When I was in the airplane I was thinking 'wow, I'm going to play for Man United'. I was thinking about Fergie taking the bags.

Then the next moment I was thinking 'wait, I've signed for less money than I had with Spartak Moscow to go to Man United'. I thought 'never mind, I'm playing for Man United'.

It was for less money, I didn't realise until I was on the plane. They were so nice, I met Fergie and David Gill, met the players, everything was great.

At the end of the day, everything like that was more important than the money and what I would sign for.

It's safe to say it all worked out for him in the end.

SEE ALSO: Manchester United Fans Praise Wout Weghorst For Underrated Role In Missed Brighton Penalty

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