Premier League - Vidic confirms he will leave Manchester United

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has revealed that he will leave the club at the end of the season

The Serbian's contract is due to expire at the end of the current Premier League season, and much speculation has surrounded the 32-year-old in recent months, but he has revealed that he will leave the club after eight years.

Vidic has stated that he wants a new challenge and will sign for a club – outside of England – as a free agent.

Speaking to United's official website, Vidic said: “It’s the last year of my contract and I have had eight wonderful years here. My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career.

"I never could have imagined winning 15 trophies and I will certainly never forget that fantastic night in Moscow (when United beat Chelsea to win the Champions League), memories that will live with me and the fans forever. However, I have decided that I will move on at the end of this season. I want to challenge myself again and try to make the best of myself in the coming years.

"I’m not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is Manchester United and I was lucky enough to be part of this club for so many years. I’ve got a few options to move on and I will choose the right one for me and for my family.

"I am now going to focus all my efforts on playing for Manchester United and do the best I can for the team until the end of the season. I hope this stops any further speculation about my future."

The centre-half has been one of the most popular members of the Red Devils squad since he arrived from Spartak Moscow for £7million - a transfer bizarrely announced on Christmas Day in 2005.

He has played a central role in virtually all United's significant triumphs since then - Vidic did recently reveal he handed his first winners' medal from the 2006 Carling Cup to Giuseppe Rossi as the Italian had played in all the previous matches up to the final.

Last May, Vidic skippered United to their historic 20th championship - his fifth and the last under Sir Alex Ferguson.

However, the tough defender made only 19 league appearances as he battled to overcome a serious knee injury, suffered in a Champions League defeat to Basle in December 2011 that required two major operations, ruling Vidic out for extended periods on both occasions.

It was argued by some that Vidic has never been the same player since, although for experience alone he would still be an invaluable presence, especially as long-time defensive partner Rio Ferdinand seems certain to be leaving as well in the summer.

Italian giants Inter Milan are favourites to land the Serbian, though their Serie A rivals Napoli, Turkish side Galatasaray and cash-rich Ligue 1 outfit Monaco are also interested in securing his signature.