Rumors emerged late Tuesday that the Chicago Fire were interested in signing Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. The player’s agent has quickly moved to dispel them, according to the Daily Mirror.
“I understand the reasons why someone like Rio would be attractive to them,” Jaimie Moralee said. “There is an appeal on and off the pitch because he could help retain the global status provided by [David] Beckham and [Thierry] Henry.
“But I must stress, these stories are nothing to do with Rio,” he added. “We have never discussed anything beyond life at Manchester United because that is all he cares about.”
The 32-year-old Ferdinand is in his 10th season with the club after his joining from rivals Leeds United. He has won five English Premier League championships and one UEFA Champions League title with the Red Devils.
Another youth revolution is underway at Old Trafford, as defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have been tipped take Ferdinand’s place in the starting lineup.
The England international has battled injuries for the better part of three years. His contract, believed to be worth £130,000 per week (over $10.4 million per year) runs through next season.
The club could be keen to offload the now-fit player before then especially if he is displaced in the team by his younger teammates in the coming months.
Moralee says the player is focused on regaining his place in the team and earning a spot in the England squad for the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
“But for now it is not on the agenda. The only thing that matters is getting back out on the pitch for Manchester United on a regular basis again because there is so much he still wants to achieve with them.”
Photo courtesy of Flickr/maxiaurelius