We now know for certain that last year, Real Madrid made a substantial bid for Vidic. Whether it was accepted in principle by United is open to debate, but the fact is that the offer was made. It is suggested that the alleged offer of around £25m would not have tempted United until he got seriously injured with a cruciate injury which eventually kept him out of the game for 9 months, after which Madrid cancelled their offer.

The beginning of this season saw United without a number of their back four fit, with unforeseen injuries to Smalling and Evans delaying their start to the season, along with the longer term recovery from surgery for Jones. That meant that any thought of selling any defender was out of the question. However, that stance may have shifted in view of two things that have materialised over the last couple of weeks.

Firstly, Vidic has had to have more surgery on the same knee that he injured last season. Whilst it is not uncommon for this type of problem to occur with this type of injury, it still means that he will be out for a further two months, on top of the nine months he has already missed. He also turns 31 years of age on Sunday. It is possible that Vidic`s best years are behind him, even though he still remains an excellent centre back.

Secondly, reports claim mega-rich Russian club FC Anzhi and equally loaded Paris St Germain are willing to splash out £30million on Vidic, as well as paying him £12m-a-year, £250,000-a-week. Given Vidic`s current plight and his age, United would be mad not to accept such an offer. The only proviso likely is that United would want this deal to be done in the summer rather than January, so that they have ample time to find a replacement, although they do have readymade replacements in the shape of Smalling and Jones, with Wootton coming up from the reserves.

This will not be the same situation for Nani, whose agent is touting him around Europe, having failed to agree contract terms with United. It is rumoured that AC Milan have already pencilled in an offer for him in January, although, with his contract about to run out next year, they may well try to tempt United with a cut price offer of only £12m! United are unlikely to sell for that amount, but it is probably only the opening shot in the transfer merry-go-round that will ensue.