Ferguson advises Rio Ferdinand ‘to concentrate on playing for Man U’

Updated: Sep 30, 2012, 12:48 PM IST

London: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has told Rio Ferdinand to “concentrate on playing” for the club, while hinting that the player could get a new one-year deal as the Reds’ defender.

Ferdinand’s name is back in the England frame after John Terry’s decision to quit the sport following the ban and fine ruling by the Football Association (FA) in the Anton Ferdinand racism case.

However, Fergie wants Ferdinand, 33, to devote his energies to the United defence, as he firmly believes that he can play on in the same “youthful” fashion as war-horses Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

“Rio will be extremely vital for us this season. He could do a job for England, I have no doubt about that. But I don’t see why he should. He should concentrate on his career here, although I wouldn’t stand in his way. It’s his decision,” a daily quoted Ferguson, as saying.

Ferguson hinted on a possible new deal for Ferdinand, as he learnt that the latter had considered getting back into the England fold after being left out the Euro 2012 squad for ‘football reasons’.

“I don’t know if that is actually correct. Has he a long-term future beyond this season? Yes. Giggs and Scholes are still playing,” he said.

“If he looks after himself, and he’s doing that well now, managing the situation with his back, then there’s no reason he can’t play on,” he added.