Manchester United veteran Rio Ferdinand has confirmed his exit from Old Trafford which ends his glittering spell of 12 years at the back of Red Devils.
Ferdinand claimed recently that he wishes to stay at the Old Trafford. But the reluctance of United management to hand him the contract he wants has resulted in an end of his spell at the club. Ferdinand, 35, is keen to keep playing in the Premier League provided he receives good enough offer. Meanwhile, the player is reported to have offers from Dubai, China and Major League Soccer clubs.
Manchester United’s official Twitter handle also confirmed the news of Ferdinand’s departure and wished him best luck for his future. United tweeted: “#mufc would like to thank Rio Ferdinand for his long and distinguished service, and wish him well for the future.”
Ferdinand released a statement on his website, claiming that the decision to leave United was entirely his own but it is believed that since his place is not more guaranteed, he has decided to say good bye.
“I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future and after 12 fantastic years playing for what I regard as the best club in the world I have decided the time is right for me to move on,” he said.
“I joined Manchester United in the hope of winning trophies and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how successful we would be during my time here.
“There have been so many highlights, playing alongside some great players who have become good friends, winning my first Premier League title and also that fantastic night in Moscow are memories that I will cherish forever.
He added: “Circumstances didn’t allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates, staff, the club and the fans for an unbelievable 12 years that I’ll never forget.
“Winning trophies I dreamed about as a kid came true at this great club. I am feeling fit and healthy, ready for a new challenge and looking forward to whatever the future holds for me.”
Ferdinand’s exit ends a very successful story at Old Trafford where he made 454 appearances and won six Premier League titles, the Champions League and two League Cups. Ferdinand was the record signing of Premier League when he completed his move from Leeds United to Manchester United in 2002 for £30m.
Manchester United are planning to change the face of the squad in the summer and at 35, Ferdinand is obviously not part of their future plans. United are linked with hosts of Centre Backs across Europe, including Ezequiel Garay of Benfica and Mangala of FC Porto.