Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been told that he won’t be offered a new contract to stay at the club.
Ferdinand has been one of United’s most consistent players ever since he moved to the club in a £30 million transfer from Leeds United 12-years ago.
United seem intent on a mass squad shake up this summer, which will leave the new manager with his work cut out as he mulls over who he wants to draft in ahead of an important season next year.
Initial reports have suggested that United will go after Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels to replace Ferdinand but the German’s focus will be on the World Cup this summer.
The news is a blow of United and means they have lost a great deal of experience from their back four already.
Ferdinand joins Nemanja Vidic, who has left the club for Inter Milan, which leaves the heart of United’s defence a problematic area.
United do have a trio in Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans who can all step up and play well as centre-backs but there is no substitute for experience, especially in big games.
Ferdinand won several trophies during his time with the club; six Premier League titles, five Community Shields, two League Cups, one Champions League and one Club World Cup.
He’s said that he feels fit and healthy which means several sides will have the opportunity to snap up one of England’s most experienced defenders, who could still have one or two-years left in his career at the age of 35-years-old.
West Ham could make a move for him, with Sam Allardyce’s side having been strongly linked with going after him last summer before he signed a one-year contract extension at United.
Here’s what United fans have made of Ferdinand’s exit on social media website Twitter.
Thank you Rio Ferdinand!— Rendy (@rendyov) May 13, 2014
@rioferdy5 thanks for all the memories. You deserve the chance to say goodbye properly!— Neil Schofield (@scoey2009) May 13, 2014
Thank You!! @rioferdy5 Great ManU-career! Awesome defender! Good luck for the rest of your career! One of my favourite players ever!— Antti Isomaa (@AnttiIsomaa) May 13, 2014
Rio Ferdinand is leaving. A loyal warrior and servant for 12 years.— Tom Ford. (@RizIsInTheHouse) May 13, 2014
A big THANK YOU to @rioferdy5 you will always be remembered as a truly great player!— Tore Fagerlie (@Fagerlie) May 13, 2014
@rioferdy5 Good luck Rio with whatever you do in the future. You have been a great servant for MU. I will miss your mazy runs into the box!— Keith R Edwards (@harbidge) May 13, 2014