Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that defender Rio Ferdinand remains firmly in his long term plans, and has lauded him for his influence on the dressing room.
Injuries have taken their toll on Ferdinand and he has had to adapt his game having lost that yard of pace. Many felt this could be his last season at Old Trafford after a number of young center backs emerged ready to usurp his place.
This lead a number of teams to enquire about his availability. Spurs, Chicago Fire and Chinese side Guizhou Renhe are all said to sniffed around the classy center back but will be left disappointed after Sir Alex confirmed he has a long future at United.
Discussing a new deal for Ferdinand Sir Alex said:
“It is down to how he feels physically himself.
“He is still young for a centre-back, in normal terms you would expect a centre-back with his athleticism to play well into their thirties anyway.
“We all know about his back problem, so we’ve had to manage that.
“He has adapted really well to the challenge of making sure he is fit and fresh to play in the games when we need him.
“How long he goes on for is all down to how he feels physically, other than that he has no issues at all.”
Sir Alex also spoke on the influence Ferdinand has on the dressing room being one of the senior players.
We previously got an insight into this when Sir Alex stated that Ferdinand was doing his best to convince Paul Pogba that Old Trafford was the best place for him to continue his footballing education, but it is players, both young and old, that Ferdinand can impress upon:
“I keep thinking I signed Rio three or four years ago, I forget he’s been here for almost 10 years now.
“He has taken on that role of the influential person in the dressing room. He is great with the players.
“If you can keep players long enough for their influence to spread – and in the modern game it’s difficult to keep players for five or six years – they can take over from the older players as they disappear.”