Sir Alex Ferguson insists that he has no plans to let experienced centre-half Rio Ferdinand leave Manchester United.
There has been much speculation concerning the future of the 33-year-old following the emergence of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones but Ferguson believes Ferdinand could play for ‘another couple of years’.
Ferdinand has at times been linked with moves to Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and an MLS club in the United States.
The England international has also had to adapt his game after losing some pace over the years. And following advice from his Scottish manager, Ferdinand has managed to put in a string of impressive showings.
“I’ve got no thoughts of letting Rio go,” Ferguson said.
“He’s got a part to play. He’s got experience and he’s a big figure in our dressing room.”
“The players look up to him, so that will continue. He can play for another couple of years, quite easily.”
“We’ve built the team for the day that Gary Neville left and Rio left, it’s a fact. We have to look ahead and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it shouldn’t mean that Rio looks upon it as the end of his football life.”
“He has been such a good player for us that it was important for me to explain his position. The fact is he’s not as quick as he was five years ago.”
“That happens. People lose their pace. But he’s adjusted his game and he’s had terrific performances since then.”
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