Moyes open to new Vidic deal
Published 21/09/2013 | 14:51
Manchester United boss David Moyes has admitted on present form, Nemanja Vidic is worthy of a new Red Devils contract.
In his first interview since standing down in May, Sir Alex Ferguson claimed earlier this week United would be fine as long as Vidic stayed fit.
The Serbian has been a towering presence in defence this term and seems certain to keep his place for the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.
Yet his contract expires in the summer and whilst there was speculation in his homeland earlier in the summer that a new deal was about to be signed, so far it hasn't happened.
Moyes admitted he had not spoken to Red Devils executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about extending Vidic's stay at Old Trafford, which will reach eight years in January.
But providing his fitness holds up, he doesn't envisage a problem.
"It is something I have not discussed with the chief executive yet but Vida's form at the moment would suggest he is well worthy of that," said Moyes.
"Probably his injuries have been the reason why you might have to look at it, so the big thing is to see how he goes.
"But his form has been very good. We just need to hope he gets through and doesn't pick up any more injuries."
Vidic has been troubled by a major knee injury sustained during a Champions League defeat to Basle in December 2011 that required a second operation when the 31-year-old experienced discomfort as he attempted a comeback.
By the end of last season, Ferguson seemed to have decided that, much like Rio Ferdinand, Vidic's presence was enough of a positive to keep getting him picked, but not for every game.
Moyes appears to have turned that theory on its head.
But he does agree with Ferguson's theory about United prospering if his captain stays fit.
"A lot of attention has been taken by the form of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie but defensively, we have done really well and Vida has been excellent," said Moyes.
"Sir Alex is right about keeping Vida fit because he is a top defender.
"I have worked with some really good central defenders. But I have got to say, in the short time I have been here, Vida has been as good as there is.
"He is everything you would want in a centre-half.
"He is tough. He is a great leader in the way he plays. He is aggressive at the right moments.
"I have been really impressed with how good a player he is."
So dubious was Ferguson about the combined fitness of Vidic and Ferdinand though that it is 2010 since they last played three matches together in the space of a week.
Yet, unless Moyes springs a major selection surprise, that is exactly what is going to happen on Sunday after the pair combined for victories over Crystal Palace and Bayer Leverkusen.
Moyes has admitted it was a conscious decision, born of an arduous start to the campaign and his own need to get a foothold into his debut season as United manager.
The Scot has confirmed the policy will change as the weeks tick by, and it would be a major surprise if two of Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were not chosen together for next week's Capital One cup tie with Liverpool at Old Trafford.
But for now Moyes is happy to stick with the familiar.
"It is something I am aware of and I am sure nature will take its own course in time," said Moyes.
"I am quite comfortable with Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones.
"I just feel I had taken over a new job and felt it was important I got a little bit of rhythm.
"I will change players round at different times, but because of the start to the Premier League we had, I made up my mind I was going to keep quite strong in the opening period and then look to see what happens after that.
"Vida and Rio have felt really good through pre-season.
"Their fitness has been great and I think they are both enjoying it."