Manchester United management are convinced Nemanja Vidic has been unsettled by interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona. The Times says United are insistent that Vidic, who is understood to earn approximately £70,000 a week, is not in a position to demand a new contract, given that his deal, which was improved and extended two years ago, runs until 2012.

They are concerned that the player's head has been turned by soundings from Real after previous interest from Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He joined United from Spartak Moscow for £7 million four years ago. Vidic and his representatives, for their part, believe that his rise in status since he signed his last contract, in November 2007, merits a new deal.

He was on the shortlist for the Fifa World Player of the Year award last month and named in the FIFPro team of the year.