• Two-year contract extension and £90,000 a week expected
• Serbian centre-half linked with move to Real Madrid
Manchester United are to offer Nemanja Vidic a contract extension that will place him among the highest earners at Old Trafford.
Vidic's position at United has been in doubt, with his agent indicating the 28-year-old is open to a move to Spain or Italy. Sir Alex Ferguson, speaking after the club's pre-season friendly against Philadelphia Union yesterday, admitted he could offer no guarantees on the defender's future. "I can't clarify it at all," the United manager said.
Real Madrid are among several clubs linked with the commanding centre-half this year, and Ferguson went only so far as to say "I believe so" when asked if Vidic will still be a Manchester United player next season.
United officials, however, mindful of the damaging repercussions should Vidic leave a club plagued by injuries in defence last season, hope to end the uncertainty by securing the Serb on an extended contract. The former Spartak Moscow defender, signed for £7m by United in 2006, has two years remaining on his £70,000-a-week deal and there is a feeling within Old Trafford that his agent is angling for improved terms.
United usually open negotiations with players entering the final two years of a contract and are expected to offer Vidic a two-year extension and improved terms of around £90,000 a week. Talks on a new £130,000-a-week contract for Wayne Rooney are also planned ahead of the Premier League season, with United confident of reaching a swift agreement with the England striker.
Despite his confidence that United's young talent can supplement a title challenge and diminish the need for major signings this summer, Ferguson has revealed that Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley will be allowed to join a Premier League club on loan next season. The pair impressed during United's 1-0 win over Philadelphia Union, in which Gabriel Obertan scored the only goal in a hard-fought contest from Welbeck's pass, but Ferguson believes their need for playing time necessitates a temporary move from Old Trafford.
On Welbeck, who is wanted by Steve Bruce at Sunderland, the United manager said: "It is a big season for Danny because over the last three seasons he has not had a consistent run of games. We sent him to Preston last year and he only ended up playing eight games and had an operation on his knee.
"One thing about him is that he is still growing so there is weakness in his legs. He is 6ft 2in and just sprouted up in the last year and a half. He needs consistent football so we might put him out on loan again to a Premier League team."
Cleverley, the highly rated England Under-21 international midfielder, is also available on a loan deal. "Tom is a very talented boy," Ferguson said. "He is going to be a very, very good footballer but we are considering putting him out on loan to a Premier League club as well.
"He is young and improved tremendously on loan at Watford last season. He got an unfortunate injury towards the end of the season which put him out for quite a long time, but he can play everywhere in midfield and that is a big advantage."
There's the bee GK kit which is still bound to give people a sore eye
Kiko has decided he only likes to scare when coming off the bench, hence no goal yesterday..
The PU players were very excited about playing MU, they even tried to pull their pants off..
Obertan scored a goal..but he needs to work on his goal celebrations, wtf was this?
Danny got the assist, look at his arms, boy is growing up..
This PU player had crazy side burns..
Theball scared this PU player..
Tom Cleveley will be out on loan this season..
Giggys got a standing ovation when he went to take a corner <3
Any guesses on why Scholes got a yellow card? ;))
Respect to PU who played well :)