Rio Ferdinand is considering a move to China when his Manchester United contract runs out at the end of next season reports in The Mirror suggests. A unknown Chinese club is interested in the veteran defender who will be 35 years old by that time.
Should he agree to the move Ferdinand will be following in the footsteps of former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka who moved to Shanghai Shenhua in January and is earning a reported £175,000 a week. Rumour has it they are now persuing Anelka’s former Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba.
This news may seem like an April fool joke but China seems to be the new location for players in the twilight of their careers to earn vast weekly pay packets in what one would assume is a less than challenging environment. A footballing version of a horse being put out to pasture, but with a much more lucrative result.
For Ferdinand this move feels an unlikely one though. Surely he cannot be so short of cash after countless seasons at Old Trafford that he needs the money. And at 35 years old it would seem like a enormous unheaval for him and his family for a couple of seasons at best, even in a less demanding league.
Manchester United seem to look after their own and the majority of their long serving pro’s seem happy to end their careers at Old Trafford, and I would be surprised indeed if Rio didn’t follow suit.
With Ferdinand club loyalty seems to come before possible financial gain. United have looked after him through the ups and downs of his career and he has done his very best for them. There must have been many occasions in the past when Ferdinand had been offered big money moves to big clubs, both here and abroad. He remained at United, although to be fair what other club can compare to the sucesses United have enjoyed since Ferdinand has been there?
Maybe the unlikely will happen and Ferdinand will do what Beckham did and follow the money abroad. With the new blood at United it seems obvious that Rio’s chances are going to be fewer and far between.
Perhaps it is not the money at all which is attractive to him but just the opportunity to play the game he loves week in, week out. Maybe he is interested in travel and is excited about experiencing the cultural differences in a country like China.
Now that really does make it sound like a April fool joke!
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