Vidic explains money wasn't a factor in United move

Tuesday 25 April 2023 12:39

While appearing on his former centre-back partner Rio Ferdinand’s podcast, Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic revisited his move to the Reds in the 2005/06 winter transfer window with a brilliant story.

A 24-year-old at the time, Vidic arrived from Russian side Spartak Moscow, and would go on to spend eight-and-a-half seasons in Manchester, becoming club captain and one of the all-time great United defenders, during a trophy-ladened spell in M16.

As a Red, ‘Nema’ of course formed what has become known as an iconic defensive partnership with Ferdinand, and recently reunited with his good friend to look back on the glory days. 

Speaking on Rio’s Vibe With Five podcast, the Serbian shares an insight into some key moments in his Old Trafford career, including his trip to the north of England to sign for the club.

Why Vidic was a special Christmas present


Nemanja turned out to be a great gift for Reds fans on the big day back in 2005.

“I came and obviously Sir Alex Ferguson was waiting; the whole trip, he was there,” he began, in the first half of the two-part conversation. 

“Me and Buda [Budimir Vujacic, [a former scout], when we came, first we went to the hotel, to see the players. 

“You [Rio and the team] had a dinner before a game. I was sitting with Cristiano Ronaldo and Louis Saha on a table and, after that, Fergie took us to another hotel and he was actually taking the bags from me, him and Buda, and putting it in the back [of a car].

“I said: ‘Wow, they’re taking the bags from me, this is amazing! He’s normal man, is he this crazy?’”
Vidic has a smile on his face telling the story and recalling his first memories of his former boss, who seemed to charm him so much on his visit that he didn’t pay as much attention to the financial side of his United transfer as he could have done!

“Then we went to the hotel, everything was great. The next day, I had negotiations about everything that was happening with my future. Then he would take us to the airport and, again, put in the bags and take us to the airport.

“[He said] ‘Okay, see you in 10 days.’ Because at the time, I had to take the visa and all this stuff. 

“When I was on the airplane, I was looking through the window and I said: ‘Wow, man. I’m going to play for Man United.’ I was thinking about Fergie taking the bags.

“In that moment, I was thinking: ‘Wow, I signed for less money than I had at Spartak Moscow for Man United!

“I said: ‘Never mind, I’m playing for Man United!’”
Sir Alex was central to securing Nemanja's services at Old Trafford.
Although our former defender was having a laugh about it, he went on to reiterate that the money he would get wasn't really a factor for him when joining the club.

Nemanja explains that the feel he got from the people at United – including Sir Alex – was more important to him.

“I’m joking but, in general, they were so nice,” he adds. 

“Every time I met with Fergie, with David Gill, I met the players, everything was great. 

“But, at the end of the day, that was more important for me than money and how much I would sign for.”