Manchester United are reportedly in negotiations with Borussia Dortmund in view to signing their 6 ft 4 Serbian centre-half Neven Subotic this summer. With the Bundesliga star away in South Africa, Sir Alex Ferguson is reportedly trying to sign Nemanja Vidic’s interational protégé to replace the more experienced centre-half who is eyeing a move to Real Madrid.
Subotic signed a new long-term contract with Borussia Dortmund earlier last season but the Red Devils are refusing to take no for an answer as Sir Alex looks to replace Vidic with a top class younger player. The young defender has been dubbed the ‘New Nemanja Vidic’ and has grown in stature and reputation in the Bundesliga after a number of excellent consistent displays. Injuries weakened United’s title bid last season but after the signing of Chris Smalling from Fulham, the capture of Subotic is seen as like for like replacement for Vidic as he is also very dominant aerially.
The player’s agent Steve Kelly declared, “It would take something special for Dortmund to sell him as he is on a long-term contract there.”
The 21-year-old enjoyed a fantastic debut season in 2008/09 with Borussia after moving from Mainz. His form resulted in the offer of a new improved contract which he signed which would see him remain at the club until 2014. He played in 34 league games last season starting and finishing each match. However, with the club failing to compete with champions Bayern Munich, it would seem that the Serbian may well be tempted to Old Trafford with the chance of silverware up on offer.
Subotic was born in Banja Luka in the former Yugoslavia but moved to Germany with his family in 1994 when he was 5-years old. However, in 1999 his family moved to the USA after their residence authorization expired. There the Serbian international played soccer for Sparta Gold and Impact Black youth clubs in Salt Lake City before moving to Florida where Subotic’s sister pursued a tennis career at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. The big defender began to play for the University of South Florida’s team and was later spotted by agent Steve Kelly while representing an U17 team in the Netherlands. Kelly offered the player a trial with Mainz who eventually signed him.
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The Serbian worked his way up from the youth teams as well as their 4th division side before making his professional debut for Mainz in the last match of the 2006/07 season against Bayern. The club was relegated from the Bundesliga but the following season saw Subotic emerge as a potential star.
He made 33 league appearances (all starts) and scored 4 goals as Mainz finished 4th with the best defensive record in the division of just 37 goals conceded. They missed out on promotion by just two points and their coach Jurgen Klopp got a coaching job at Borussia and played a key role in the player moving with him to Dortmund.
During the 2008/09 season Subotic enjoyed an impressive first campaign at the top level of German football making 34 league appearances (all starts) and scoring 6 goals. Like his Manchester United compatriot Nemanja Vidic, the Serbian has shown he is dangerous in the opposition box at set-pieces with an impressive 13 goals in just 101 career league appearances (all starts). With Real Madrid stepping up their interest in Vidic and the player’s agent pressing for a move, Sir Alex can replace him with a younger model and make a profit in the process.
Subotic was eligible to play for the U.S, Serbia or Bosnia Herzegovina but opted to play for Serbia when he told the nation’s coach in December 2008. This was despite representing the USA U20 side. In March 2009, he made his international debut as a substitute in Serbia’s 3-2 win over Romania. He has now made 14 appearances and scored once in a 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands. He came on for 15 minutes in the 1-0 World Cup group defeat to Ghana last weekend.
At 6 ft 4 and quick across the ground, Subotic is made for the Premier League. He’d be an excellent signing for Manchester United as he is a dominant centre-half in the John Terry and Nemanja Vidic mould.
Will Borussia maintain their determined stance to keep their star defender if Manchester United offer a huge cash offer? Would you like to sign the 21-year-old rated as one of the finest defenders in the Bundesliga? If Vidic leaves, is this the man to replace him? Let’s hear your views.