When Rio Ferdinand announced his departure from Manchester United at the end of last season, he made it clear that he was 'fit and healthy'.
Even at 35, the former England international insisted that he could play at the top level, and he has proved it by earning a transfer to Queens Park Rangers as a free agent.
Ferdinand struggled to get regular playing time under then Red Devils manager David Moyes last season and was largely a peripheral figure in their disastrous seventh-place finish in the Premier League.
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There were reports that the former West Ham United and Leeds United centre-back would be leaving for MLS or the Middle-East, but it has now been confirmed that he will remain a Premier League player.
But could he have continued playing for United? Ferdinand certainly believes so, and does QPR manager Harry Redknapp, who has claimed that Ryan Giggs wanted the centre-back to remain at Old Trafford.
‘I spoke to Ryan Giggs to ask how much training he was doing and how fit he was and Ryan told me that, if he’d been manager at Old Trafford this season, he would’ve still been his No.1 centre-half’, Sky Sports quotes the 67-year-old as saying. ‘Rio was fit all last season, David Moyes changed the team around and didn’t pick him’.
So who did not want Ferdinand to remain at Old Trafford? The United bosses?
Ferdinand announced his decision on May 12, a day after the 2013-14 Premier League season ended, while Louis van Gaal was appointed the manager on May 19.
But could Giggs has talked his bosses into giving Ferdinand a contract extension? Could the former Wales international winger, who is now the assistant manager, have talked Van Gaal into including Ferdinand in his plans?
Could Ferdinand have been talked into making a U-turn and signing a new contract with United?
Perhaps one will never know...