Nemanja Vidic
copyright: REUTERS

The agent of Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has refuted claims the defender is set to move to Juventus in the summer.

The Serbia international has been side-lined since December with a cruciate knee ligament injury but is expected to return to the first-team squad in time for pre-season training.

Vidic has been repeatedly linked with a move away from Manchester United in the last 12 months, with Juventus reportedly keen to sign the player at the end of the current campaign.

And while Manchester United are yet to receive an offer for the skipper, his representative, Silvano Martina, has moved to distance the player from the latest round of speculation.

"Vidic is still out with a cruciate ligament injury," Martina is quoted on Sky Sports.

"A future in Italy? You have to consider that he has a non-EU passport and that would make it difficult for him to arrive in Serie A.

"I can assure you that I have never spoken with Juventus about Nemanja."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed in April that the 30-year-old will not be going on the club's pre-season tour but expects him to return for the new Premier League campaign on 18 August.

But with Chris Smalling and Johnny Evans impressive in Vidic's absence the Scot has warned that he will not be an automatic pick once he has regained full fitness.

"Hopefully - and I think I am right - we are in a really strong position with centre-backs," Ferguson told the Daily Mail last month.

"Jones and Smalling were bought for the long-term and have proved they can play in other positions of course and when Vidic comes back at the start of next season we will have a strong defensive core there.

"He won't travel with us on the pre-season tour but he will certainly be ready for the start of the season."

The former Red Star Belgrade defender was signed by Ferguson in 2006 from Spartak Moscow for £7m and has gone on to become a stalwart member of the United first team.