Manchester United legend Roy Keane has launched a scathing attack on the club for their treatment of Rio Ferdinand.
Veteran defender Ferdinand announced his decision to leave the Premier League giants this summer just a day after the final game of the season.
The 35-year-old centre-back released a statement on his website thanking the club for “12 fantastic years” and expressing regret that he could not say goodbye to the Old Trafford faithful in person.
The former England international’s final game for the Red Devils was against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday, while his last appearance in a home match was against Sunderland on May 3. Ferdinand started that contest too, but he could not help his side from falling to a 1-0 defeat.
Ferdinand joined United from Leeds United back in 2002 and has gone on to make more than 400 appearances in all competitions for the Manchester outfit. During his time with the Red Devils, Ferdinand established himself as one of the best centre-backs in Europe and played crucial roles in the club winning the Premier League six times, the League Cup twice and the Champions League once in the last 12 years.
The veteran’s contract runs out in June and he was apparently not offered a new deal. As a matter of fact, there was no news regarding Ferdinand’s future from the club until the player himself announced his decision on Monday.
No wonder Keane is harsh on the United officials for not showing enough respect to one of their best ever players, and made his opinion clear of their treatment of his former teammate.
‘If United are interested in keeping players or doing deals, they would have done it months ago’, the 42-year-old said at the launch of ITV’s World Cup coverage. ‘Rio is obviously a top, top player, but in the last few months there has obviously been a lot of indecision at the club and it is no shock that he is leaving’.
However, the former Republic of Ireland international believes that Ferdinand will continue to carry on playing, and that he will have plenty of offers on the table.
‘Don't be crying yourself to sleep at night - I don't think there will be any shortage of offers for Rio’, he said.
Ferdinand himself has stated that he is “fit and healthy” and is “ready for a new challenge”. A busy summer lies ahead for him.