Ferguson: Rio Ferdinand going nowhere

Sir Alex Ferguson has removed any doubts regarding Rio Ferdinand’s future by claiming the center back can play on for ‘another couple of years.’

It had been suggested that Manchester United would be willing to let the 33-year-old leave as they continue to inject young blood into their starting XI.

With the likes of Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones now on the club’s books, the Red Devils are well stocked defensively.

Ferdinand was touted as the one that would make way for the next generation, with rumours linking him with a move to the American MLS.

Ferguson, though, has sought to bring about an end to the speculation by insisting that the England international will see out his contract at Old Trafford.

"Rio’s been a great player for us and it’s important to explain his present position," said the United boss.

"There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, absolutely not. I have no issues at all with Rio, he can play for another couple of years quite easily.

"He’s got a part to play. He’s got experience and he’s good in the dressing room, players look up to him.

"He’s a big figure in our dressing room, so that will continue. I have no thoughts of letting him go."

While keen to keep Ferdinand on board, Ferguson admits he does have one eye on the future – with United having already lost one experienced defender in the form of the now retired Gary Neville.

He added: "Rio is not as quick as he was five years ago, that happens.

"People do lose their pace but he’s adjusting his game accordingly.

"We’ve been building a team for the day Gary and Ferdinand left, it’s a fact.

"We have to look ahead and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it shouldn’t mean that Rio looks upon it as the end of his football life."