Fergie assures Rio over future

It had been suggested that Ferguson 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, United are well stocked defensively.

Ferdinand was touted as the one that would make way for the next

generation, but Ferguson, insists 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 is planning for life

without him. 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

(Neville) 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.”