Ferdinand confirms Old Trafford exit
Rio Ferdinand has confirmed he will leave Old Trafford this summer saying that the “time is right to move on.”
It has been reported that Ed Woodward informed Ferdinand of the decision in the dressing-room at St. Marys following the 1-1 draw at Southampton and the former England defender told team-mates that the draw at was his last game on the flight back from the South Coast and asked them to sign a match ball as a memento.
In a statement on his website, the former England captain said: "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."
Earlier in the season Ferdinand voiced his determined to play on next season even if that meant away from Old Trafford.
The 35-year-old had been in and out of the side in a season of transition at Old Trafford and did not make the match-day squad for the final home game against Hull last week as interim manager Ryan Giggs gave a glimpse into the future.
Nemanja Vidic is set to leave the club this summer, and it remains to be seen what role loyal servant Giggs will take on, with Dutchman Louis van Gaal the leading contender to be appointed David Moyes' full-time replacement following the World Cup.
Ferdinand - who joined United from Leeds in July 2002 for a then record £30million - feels he still has plenty to offer.
"I am fit, I am healthy and I want to continue playing," said Ferdinand, who will be part of BBC's World Cup coverage team in Brazil.
"I have spoken to a lot of mates of mine in the game and they all say the same thing - keep playing for as long as you can.
Last week Ferdinand admitted that he was still unclear as to what the club’s intentions were.
"The club at the moment is in a position where they can't really make any decisions about anything.
"For me to be saying I want to do this or that is irrelevant, because we have got to see who becomes the new manager and boxes will be ticked from there.
"I just want the best solution for the club. Whatever it is, then I will respect it. After that I am open to offers.
"But I would rather wait and see what happens at United and then there will be a decision to be made."