Manchester United Centre-Back Rio Ferdinand To Leave Old Trafford This Summer

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Defender moved to the Theatre of Dreams from Leeds United in 2002. 

Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand is to leave Old Trafford after not being handed a new deal by the Red Devils, according to reports on BBC Sport Online.

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The central defender, 35, was contracted to the Premier League giants until the end of May, but Ferdinand will now bring an end to his illustrious 12-year career at the Theatre of Dreams, with the player’s final appearance for the club coming in Sunday afternoon’s 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s.

Ferdinand, who won six league titles, two League Cups, one Uefa Champions League, 5 Community Shields and the Fifa World Club Cup during his stay in the north west, does though intend to carry on his playing career at another next season.

The former England international had agreed a new one-year deal to keep him at United last May, and Ferdinand leaves Old Trafford having found the back of the net on eight occasions in total in his 455 appearances for the club in all competitions, including seven strikes in his 312 Premier League outings.

“I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future, and after 12 fantastic years playing for what I regard as the best club in the world, I have decided the time is right for me to move on,” said Ferdinand in an open letter on his website.

“Circumstances didn’t allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates, staff, the club and the fans for an unbelievable 12 years that I’ll never forget. Winning trophies I dreamed about as a kid came true at this great club.

“I am feeling fit and healthy, ready for a new challenge and looking forward to whatever the future holds for me.”

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