Ferguson expects Rio to sign

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Rio

Ferdinand will be the next long-serving member of his squad to sign

a contract extension.

Ryan Giggs signed a new one-year deal on Friday and Ferguson is

confident Ferdinand will also remain at Old Trafford even though

the 34-year-old centre-back has yet to commit himself, amid rumours

of interest from the US, China and the cash-rich Far East.

When asked if Ferdinand would sign a new deal, Ferguson replied:

“That is a strong possibility. It would have to happen before the

end of the season.”

Ferdinand is managing a long-standing back complaint but has

still produced some impressive performances for United this


“I think he has had a great season,” said Ferguson.

“He has managed himself the right way and we have contributed to

that in the preparation we give him.

“He doesn’t play every game in the same way that Ryan doesn’t

play every game. But in terms of key matches he has been absolutely


“Two weeks ago, against Real Madrid, he was excellent so we need

to get him ready for the big one on Tuesday.”