Premier League

Ferdinand hints at new United deal

Rio Ferdinand celebrates scoring Manchester United's winner against Swansea.
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Rio Ferdinand has dropped the clearest hint yet he intends to sign another contract and extend his stay at Manchester United.

The 34-year-old defender collected his sixth Premier League winners' medal and marked the occasion by slamming home the decisive goal in the 2-1 win over Swansea.

It was the first time he had found the net in over five years yet it was accompanied by continuing doubts over his future.

With his contract about to expire, there have been suggestions Ferdinand may take up a lucrative offer from abroad.

Outgoing United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that will not happen, and Ferdinand has said as much too.

"Manchester United has a bright future," Ferdinand told MUTV.

"The manager has left the club in great health and we are looking forward.

"We have a great number of good young players who are eager to win things and be successful and work hard.

"That is what the manager has instilled in these players. The work ethic has to continue if we are going to be successful.

"I would like to be part of that."

With Ferguson standing down in the summer, senior figures in the United dressing room are going to be pivotal in ensuring the transition into the David Moyes era is a smooth one.

Now that Paul Scholes has also retired no-one has more experience than Ferdinand, with the exception of Ryan Giggs who has also signed a one-year deal.

Ferdinand has been on top form this season too, underlining why Roy Hodgson wanted him in his England squad for the recent World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

It remains to be seen whether Ferdinand will receive a call on Thursday, when Hodgson is due to announce his squad for the friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

If Ferdinand is selected, he will link up with the status of a player who has won as many championships as Kenny Dalglish.

Not bad for someone who claims he would have been happy with just one when he arrived at United from Leeds in 2002.

"I dreamt of getting one when I turned up here," he said.

"I remember looking at Ryan and the others when I arrived. At that stage they had five, six and seven. I just wanted one. I thought I would be happy with that.

"But once you get it, you want another. You continue striving to succeed, to achieve things and win trophies.

"To get six is unbelievable. But that is the main thing at this club, you want to be successful."

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Unlike Giggs, and the other home-grown members of the United squad, Ferdinand does have the experience of working for a different club manager.

Still, it is going to be a strange situation in the summer when the most familiar face at the entire club is no longer around.

"There have been a couple of emotional moments," said Ferdinand.

"The manager's announcement was like a bolt out of the blue.

"No one was expecting it. It disappointed a lot of us but I understand the manager's reasons.

"He has had a great stint and an unbelievably successful period.

"He instilled great qualities in the club and we must carry that on."

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