Belfast Telegraph

Vidic a happy red devil

Nemanja Vidic insists he never had any intention of quitting Manchester United.

The Serbia defender was at the centre of speculation for most of the summer, which mainly pointed towards the Old Trafford exit door, with Real Madrid said to be amongst those interested. Yet during United's pre-season tour of North America, chief executive David Gill revealed Vidic was on the brink of signing a new long-term contract with the Red Devils.

And, after Wednesday night's 7-1 defeat of an Airtricity XI in Dublin to open the new £350million Aviva Stadium, Vidic confirmed that his heart was always set on remaining at Old Trafford. "I don't know why people think it was a difficult decision. I always said I am happy here," said Vidic.

"I never spoke about my future. I know there was all this speculation but I never said I wanted to go. There was nothing new.

"I am very happy to be here."

Vidic had little to do on his first appearance since the World Cup as United completely dominated. Michael Owen got on the scoresheet in the first-half after making a surprise appearance following his recovery from a hamstring injury, while new boy Javier Hernandez made his mark once more, scoring within 100 seconds of his arrival as a half-time substitute.

Park Ji-sung netted a brace, while Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans and a Nani penalty completed the rout. It meant there was no goal for Wayne Rooney at the end of a difficult week in which he has been pictured smoking and behaving boisterously on the Manchester streets during the early hours.

However, Ferguson, who was clearly not interested in discussing the 24-year-old's private life, is largely unconcerned about Rooney's failure to score and feels that with Sunday's Community Shield and an England friendly with Hungary still to play before the Premier League season begins, there is plenty of room for improvement.

"I am not getting into that," rebuffed Ferguson when asked about the pictures before adding: "He has only been training for six days but he impressed me.

"He will need more training before he plays full games but I will have to play him against Chelsea to bring him on in time for the game against Newcastle. By that time he would have played an international too, which could be a good thing."

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