Sport Soccer

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Rio eyes fairy tale finish

Published 28/07/2014 | 15:59

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Rio Ferdinand, left, is delighted to be reunited with Harry Redknapp, right

Rio Ferdinand claims he turned down a number of clubs to sign for QPR and enjoy a "fairy tale finish" to his career by reuniting with former boss Harry Redknapp.

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Ferdinand agreed a one-year deal at newly-promoted Rangers after Manchester United allowed the 35-year-old's contract to expire at the end of last season.

The former England defender was handed his first-team debut by Redknapp 18 years ago and Ferdinand admitted playing under Redknapp played a major part in his decision to move to Loftus Road.

"My competitive edge was the overriding factor along with my family coming to London and obviously working with Harry again," Ferdinand said.

"I had offers from different places in the world, including some clubs in the Premier League.

"My agent spoke to them and met various managers but when Harry made the call it was an easy decision for me.

"I started under him as a young player at West Ham and to finish my career playing under him again is a fairy tale finish."

Ferdinand, whose trophy cabinet boasts six Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a Champions League winners medal, admits a relegation battle with Rangers poses a different sort of challenge.

"It's a different proposition to what I'm used to but it's a great challenge that I'm looking forward to," Ferdinand said.

"I play to win all the time whether it's in training or a match and that's going to be the case here.

"Getting points on the board - that's been my mentality and it will be here as we look to stay in the Premier League."

Ryan Giggs, who took over as caretaker boss at United towards the end of last season, told Ferdinand he wanted the defender to stay on at Old Trafford.

Ferdinand hoped to be offered a new contract with the Red Devils and while he admits he is looking forward to facing his former club, he insists he holds no grudges.

"When Giggsy took the job he had to look at it like he was going to be in the seat for next season and he made it clear to me I would have stayed and been part of his plans," Ferdinand said.

"But things change in football, you have to move on. The dynamic there has changed so you have to dust yourself down and get on with it."

Ferdinand continued: "I made it clear at the time Man United would have to tell me they didn't want me and that happened at the end of season - the club said thank you and goodbye.

"I'm just happy to be here now. I'm happy Harry and QPR have given me the opportunity to carry on in the Premier League."

QPR, meanwhile, have announced that midfielder Esteban Granero has returned to Spain after joining Real Sociedad for an undisclosed fee.

The 27-year-old, who moved to the Hoops from Real Madrid in 2012 and made 28 appearances for the club, has signed a four-year contract tying him to the Basque outfit until 2018.

Granero spent last season on loan at Sociedad but a serious knee injury limited the former Spain Under-21 international to just four appearances.

A QPR statement read: "The club would like to thank Esteban for his contribution during his time at Loftus Road and wish him well for the future."

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