Manchester United’s veteran central defender Rio Ferdinand is set to leave Old Trafford in the summer, when his current contract expires.
Recenly appointed manager David Moyes is looking to stamp his own authority on the squad, building the United squad with fresh, hungry young Footballers, to lead United into the next few years.
And it appears that Ferdinand, aged 35, is not part of Moyes’ plans, having been back up in the United squad earlier this season, before starting his first game for several months against Hull City in December, after an injury lay off.
Ferdinand hasn’t been able to force his way back into the squad on a regular basis, with Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling currently infront of the former England captain in the pecking order.
Ferdinand’s prospects of earning a new deal are understood to be bleak.
Although Moyes has regularly turned to Ferdinand for United’s Champions League fixtures, the 35-year-old has made just one appearance in the league since the end of September.
The defender had been an ever present at the start of the Moyes reign, having started all five of the club’s opening Premier League games this season before his injury.
Ferdinand signed for United from bitter rivals Leeds United, for a fee of £18 million in the summer of 2002, and has gone onto make 305 appearances for the Red Devils.
Ferdinand, along with brother Anton, started his career at East London side West Ham United, and was part of the successful academy of players, including Joe Cole, Jermaine Defoe, Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard amongst others.
The veteran defender has already accepted media based work for BT Sport and the BBC, with Ferdinand being named as a BBC pundit for this summer’s World Cup showpiece in Brazil.
Rumours are persisting that the MLS could be calling for Ferdinand, with a number of sides expressing their interest, he has also been linked with a move to former club West Ham, and middle Eastern clubs.
By Ben Reardon