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Nov 2, 2011

Rio not considering January exit

ESPNsoccernet understands Rio Ferdinand has no intention of leaving Manchester United in January despite falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

• Fergie: Ferdinand not first-choice

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson suggested on Tuesday that Ferdinand, 32, is no longer first-choice as he has "lost the yard of pace he had five years ago".

Amid competition from young defensive duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, Ferdinand's future has been the subject of conjecture, with a move to America or Premier League rivals Tottenham mooted.

But a source told ESPNsoccernet: "For the moment, Rio stays at Manchester United. Despite all the speculation that he wants to leave in January in pursuit of a regular first team place, that is not the case.

"For now he is staying and will stay until the end of the season. He has two more years on his contract, this season and then another year, so he is in no rush to decide the next step.

"He has been linked with Spurs or a move to America, but he is not thinking about Spurs or anything else, as he is concentrating on getting himself in the best shape to get back into the United team."

It is understood that Ferdinand will review his situation at the end of the season, with the defender wary that restricted appearances for the Red Devils could harm his England chances.


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

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