Tabloid rumour mill The Sun today reports that Rio Ferdinand is set to quit Manchester United for the warmer pastures of Real Madrid or Barcelona next summer. The typically weak ‘exclusive’, which carries unattributed quotes from ‘a source’, says that Ferdinand is seeking to boost his business profile as he enters his 30s.
MANCHESTER UNITED are heading for a Ronaldo-style battle to hang on to Rio Ferdinand. The England defender is a target for Barcelona and Real Madrid – and knows a move to Spain will boost his growing business career.
Ferdinand is under contract until 2013 but United could be tempted to cash in on a player who is 30 and who has suffered from recent injury problems. A move to Spain would give brand Rio the kind of platform both David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have exploited at Madrid.
A source revealed: “Rio can see the sense of it. Not only would it be a fresh challenge as he nears the end of his career, it would also fit all his projects off the pitch.
“Rio has big business plans, which are already taking shape, and would really take off if he moved to one of the big Spanish clubs.”
The laughably inaccurate story, which is based on little more that quotes from a presumably Spanish-based agent, is typical of the negotiation-by-media tactics used by Real Madrid in the past.
Rio Ferdinand is under contract at United until 2013 and is one of the highest paid players at Old Trafford. He has repeatedly stated that he wants to end his career at United.