Rio Ferdinand to Leave Manchester United for China?

There is a reportedly a 'big chance' the defender's 10-year career with Man U is coming to an end.  

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

It is being reported that Rio Ferdinand will be leaving Manchester United when his contract expires this summer, allegedly telling friends that there is a "big chance" he will make the move from Old Trafford.

According to the article, a viable option for Ferdinand is the Chinese Super League, which has already seen former Chelsea striker Dider Drogba join its ranks for Shanghai Shenhua F.C. Ferdinand recently spoke to Inside United of his future plans with the Red Devils, saying: "The best thing I can do is to look at it at Christmas, and then again in the summer, to see how I'm feeling and go from there.

"I'll have a better idea of [my future at United] in December or January time, when the games start coming thick and fast. That is when it really hits you and you know the hard work really has to start. I'll probably get a better gauge of where I'm at fitness-wise and the benefit of having the summer off then."

However, manager Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed his wish to keep Ferdinand at the club, saying: "I think Rio can play for two or three more years. He is not as quick as he was but that is not a big issue for me. His experience is important and there is no reason he can't stay on. I didn't even realise his contract was up."

Ferdinand moved to United from Leeds in 2002 for a then-record £30million, and has enjoyed a long and illustrious career with them ever since. However, these reports have come at a time when the focus is on Ferdinand's nonexistent international career, with boss Roy Hodgson putting an end to the 34-year-old's England days by choosing to leave him out of the squad for the Euro 2012 tournament earlier this year. It could be that, considering he is no longer required for the international team, Ferdinand has decided that now is the best time to follow in the footsteps of Drogba, who has moved to Shanghai on a £195,000 a week deal, and sign a lucrative deal for a foreign club.

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