Ferdinand warns €70m Arsenal target against ‘risking his career’ by completing Man Utd transfer

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd legend Ferdinand
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand.

Rio Ferdinand has warned Arsenal-linked Ronald Araujo against completing a move to Premier League giants Manchester United.

It has been widely reported in recent weeks that Man Utd’s priority during the upcoming January transfer window will be to sign a new centre-back.

Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane were firmly established as Erik ten Hag‘s first-choice centre-backs last season but the situation in the defensive department has changed this term.

Martinez is currently out of action with an injury, while Varane has slipped down the pecking order. Ten Hag has preferred to use Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw at centre-back in recent weeks.

Barcelona defender Araujo has been mentioned as a potential Man Utd signing, but he is also understood to be on Arsenal’s radar.

Injuries have restricted Araujo – who is valued at €70m by transfermarkt – to just seven La Liga starts this term but he is regarded as one of the best defenders in the world.

Ferdinand has explained why he thinks Araujo would be foolish if he signed for Man Utd. 

“If I’m a player like [Araujo] who, I think, has every attribute to be one of the best defenders in the world, why are you going United?” Ferdinand said via his Vibe with Five podcast.

“I’d be looking at Varane and going, bruv, if he can go United and get benched for a left-back, for an old vet Jonny Evans, an old ex-player who’s come back for his twilight years, and then someone who used to be captain who was left out for 18 months, who’s back in form now and playing, I can’t go there and risk my life and risk my career.”

Ferdinand has also hit out at Man Utd forward Marcus Rashford, who is not consistent enough to be considered world-class.

“No, he’s not,” Ferdinand said on talkSPORT when asked if Rashford is a world-class talent.

“He has world-class potential, but he’s not a world-class player. He’s not proved it enough.

“To be world-class you get to a level and you sustain it over a period of time but at the moment he comes in flurries.

“He has moments where he takes your breath away and does things that not many people on the planet can do and is great.”

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Asked whether local players like Rashford need to take more responsibility, Ferdinand added: “Yeah, I certainly think you should take things more personally and then try and help that situation.

“I still catch myself and have to remind myself ‘he’s not a young kid anymore’, he’s an experienced player in that changing room who is looked at as a leader.

“If I was him, being at the club that long and with the status he’s got in the game, when the captaincy came up I’d be wanting to have that armband because I think he’s got the experience and the gravitas to do that.”