Testimonial hints at Rio future

Rio Ferdinand has been given a testimonial by Manchester United to suggest he will be staying at the club.

Last Updated: 22/04/13 at 08:18 Post Comment

Rio Ferdinand: Has been given a testimonial

Rio Ferdinand: Has been given a testimonial

The clearest indication yet that Rio Ferdinand will be staying at Manchester United next season has come from a confirmation that the defender has been given a testimonial by the Old Trafford outfit.

Ferdinand joined United for £29.1million from Leeds in 2002, meaning he completed a decade of service last summer.

With his contract due to expire this year, there had been plenty of speculation about whether Ferdinand would stay, or if he might be tempted to accept one of the lucrative offers he has received to play in the Far East or Major League Soccer.

So far, there has been no confirmation either way.

However, in acknowledging Ferdinand is presently putting plans in place for a testimonial game, which currently has no date, or opponent but will take place at the start of next season, it seems the Londoner is ready to commit himself to United for another year.

"I have spoken to Rio," said manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I would imagine the best thing for him would be to stay but at this moment in time he is more concerned about getting an opponent for his testimonial game.

"But we want him to stay and I am sure his representatives will be talking about that with David (Gill)."

Of particular significance could be whether Ferdinand resumes his international career.

After being selected for the recent World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro, Ferdinand withdrew in controversial circumstances, citing an "intricate and pre-planned" training programme.

That move, and his subsequent decision to fly to Doha to commentate on the first of those World Cup qualifiers for Al Jazeera, led to Ferdinand being abused by England fans during the San Marino game, which is still the subject of a FIFA investigation.

Yet England boss Roy Hodgson must realise his central defensive options are no more extensive than they were prior to Ferdinand being called up in the first place.

Phil Jagielka missed Everton's defeat at Sunderland on Saturday with an ankle injury, Joleon Lescott was pressed into service as an emergency striker as Manchester City slid to defeat at Tottenham on Sunday, when Steven Caulker remained on the bench throughout.

At Ferdinand's own club, neither Chris Smalling nor Phil Jones - who has impressed in a variety of positions recently - is challenging to displace their vastly experienced team-mate on a regular basis.

So, there would appear to be a ring of truth about speculation that Hodgson intends to speak with Ferdinand to establish whether his training regime would allow a call-up for the post-season friendlies against Republic of Ireland on May 29 and Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on June 2.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Garry Monk pleased with Swansea's 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor

Swansea boss Garry Monk hailed his side's march to the 40-point mark after their tight victory at Burnley.

Louis van Gaal says Man Utd took 'big step' in win over Sunderland

Louis van Gaal was pleased with Manchester United's balanced system in their 2-0 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford.

Hornets sting Leeds, Derby downed

Watford reaffirmed their automatic Sky Bet Championship promotion hopes by defeating Leeds 3-1 to close the gap on leaders Derby, who lost 2-0 at Fulham.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company