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Rio Ferdinand's Statement And The Peculiar Rumour Around His United Exit

Rio Ferdinand's Statement And The Peculiar Rumour Around His United Exit
By Mark Farrelly Updated

Rio Ferdinand won't be renewing his contract at Man United when it expires this summer but the circumstances around the decision seem a little muddy.

In a statement on his website, Ferdinand says '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.' However the Daily Mail report that Ed Woodward informed him in the dressing room after yesterday's match that they wouldn't be renewing his contract – within hearing distance of other players.

This contradicts Ferdinand saying he decided he's going to move on but may explain another line from the defender's statement, when he says '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.'

Perhaps Ferdinand is hinting that the manner in which his United career has been brought to a close was indeed as the Daily Mail described it.

The Daily Mail also report that the squad was told by the former England centre back on the plane journey home yesterday evening when he got them all to sign the match ball to keep as a souvenir.

His full statement reads

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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.

I joined Manchester United in the hope of winning trophies, and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how successful we would be during my time here. There have been so many highlights, playing alongside some great players who have become good friends, winning my first Premier League title and also that fantastic night in Moscow are memories that I will cherish forever.

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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