Ferdinand considering shock China switch when United deal ends
10:02 GMT, 31 March 2012
Rio Ferdinand could be set for a shock move to China when his contract with Manchester United ends next summer.
The 33-year-old defender has been at Old Trafford since 2002 but could be tempted by wages in the region of 175,000 a week.
Ferdinand would join Nicolas Anelka in moving to China after the former Chelsea striker joined Shanghai Shenhua.
Heading east Rio Ferdinand (left) has been linked with a move to China
According to the Guardian however, Shenhua are not the club interested in the England centre back.
Ferdinand remains a key player for United with manager Sir Alex Ferguson saying previously: 'He has taken on that role of the influential person in the dressing room. It’s not easy but the longer they stay here the better the influence spreads to them and they can take over from the older players as they disappear.
Move: Nicolas Anelka joined Shanghai Shenhua from Chelsea in January
In the buildup to last Monday’s win over Fulham the Scot talked of how Ferdinand has adjusted his game: 'It’s not surprised me in the sense that he’s still young for a centre-back. In normal terms you would expect a centre-back with his athleticism to play well into their 30s anyway.
'But he had the back problem which we all know about. So we’ve had to manage that and by managing it properly he has adapted really well to it.'
Ferdinand has started 21 of United’s 30 league matches this campaign and he should again be in the starting lineup for Monday evening’s trip to Blackburn Rovers.