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Manchester City
Crystal Palace
3
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FT
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Werder Bremen
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2
1
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1
1
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2
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5
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Ferdinand Chicago Fire link denied

Rio Ferdinand wants to stay at Manchester United for another two years, according to sources close to the player.

• Chicago want Rio to make MLS move

Ferdinand has been linked with a move to Chicago Fire in the States, but the central defender is not quite ready yet to follow the David Beckham path to America.

The source told ESPNsoccernet on Wednesday that Ferdinand is "very happy" at United and that there are no plans to leave with no discussions taking place about a desire to quit Old Trafford.

Ferdinand has just under two years left on a contract signed in 2008 to take him to the end of the 2012-13 season, and his camp have denied receiving interest from America.

The Fire also insist they have made no moves for Ferdinand, despite the obvious attraction.

"We have watched and admired the play of Rio Ferdinand for a number of years, and we would be thrilled to have a player of his quality join the Chicago Fire Soccer Club,'' said a club statement. "However, there is no substance to these current reports that the Fire is negotiating with Manchester United and the player to bring him to Chicago.''

The former England captain is 33 in November and said he wants to remain at a club with which he has a strong affinity.

When asked about the Chicago Fire link on Twitter, Ferdinand responded: "I love everything about playing for MUFC, to be a part of the great history + be a part of creating some.'' It cannot be ruled out, however, that Ferdinand might well have signed his final contract at Old Trafford.

When this contract expires, then there is every chance Ferdinand would be lured to the States, in preference to Russia or the Middle East, where there are clubs now capable of paying him as much as his £130,000-week contract, or perhaps even more.

Although Ferdinand has been left out of the England team for the final Euro 2012 qualifier, he still wants to be pushing for a place in the finals in the summer.

Ferdinand would also like a final crack at the World Cup two years later, and any move away from Old Trafford would virtually wipe out a final opportunity on the world stage.

Fabio Capello's reign will be over next summer, and Ferdinand will need to be playing at the highest level to stand any chance of regaining his England place under a new coach.

Those two years left at Old Trafford on his current contract are the perfect time scale in which to consider his future. And he would be in a far more powerful position to dictate his terms if he left Old Trafford on a free transfer in two years.

The former Leeds and West Ham star has struggled with injury for the last three years and those problems are the reason why speculation about his future has suddenly resurfaced.

"It has been a very frustrating period for all concerned," Ferdinand's long-standing friend and representative Jamie Moralee said. "It doesn't matter whether it is the 10th year, the 11th year or the 13th, when the time is right, we will sit down with the club and talk about it.

"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."

Ferdinand's wide-ranging business interests, including his own restaurant in Manchester and digital magazine, suggest he will not be short of things to occupy his mind when retirement eventually beckons.

• Harry Harris' new book: 19: The Remarkable Story of United's League Championship Record is available now.

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