Ferdinand set for contract talks with Manchester United

The now-former England defender could extend his stay at Old Trafford to an 11th season
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he expects talks to begin talks with the club over an extension to his current contract following the completion of the Premier League season.

The 34-year-old has been at Old Trafford since the summer of 2002 and has enjoyed a successful campaign, playing 33 times in all competitions and re-establishing himself as the club's first-choice centre-back.

His current deal expires at the end of the season but he announced his retirement from international football in the week to prolong his club career, and incoming United manager David Moyes is expected to sanction a further 12 months for the former Leeds and West Ham defender.

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However, Ferdinand also told reporters that his current boss, the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson, could also play a part in the club's decision to offer him an extension.

"I have to go speak to the board about a new contract - and hopefully the boss can put in a good word for me," he said.

The decision to retire from England duty did not take too many by surprise, given that he had not played for the Three Lions since June 2011, and following his withdrawal from Roy Hodgson's last squad selection because of a wish to maintain his personal training programme at Old Trafford.

"It came after a lot of thought," he offered.

"But at the age of 34, I feel it's right for me to stand aside and let the younger players come through, which allows me to concentrate on my club career.

"The team looks in great shape and there is an influx of young, talented players coming through the ranks which bodes well for the future. I wish them well and I can say I've always been really proud to play for England.”

Ferdinand scored the winner in Sir Alex's farewell to Old Trafford match against Swansea last week, his first goal for over five years, and one that he admitted he would remember for the rest of his career.

"Well, it was an incredible day, really emotional.

"The manager leaving after all the years he’s been here and all the success he’s had, he deserved a reception like that. It was special. It was phenomenal.

"It was a late goal which is very like United. Actually it was really nice to get on the scoresheet - I kept telling everyone it was an incredible strike.

"I was thinking before the game that it seemed like everyone else in the squad had scored this season and I hadn't. So I wanted to do it. I just smashed it home - I have to say it was a beautiful finish!"

He went on to pay tribute to his departing manager, who paid Leeds a world record transfer fee for a defender of
£30 million to bring Ferdinand to Old Trafford following the 2002 World Cup.

"It will be very strange [without him]," he continued.

"What he’s done for this club is incredible, unbelievable. His record speaks volumes about the type of manager he is, the type of man he is and his incredible desire to win. His work ethic is incredible and he wants to make you a better player.

"I can’t thank him enough for what
he’s done for me. He has a real ability to build teams and he's leaving the club in a very healthy state for the new manager to come in and take over as well.

"It's a personal moment between the squad and manager [when Sir Alex revealed his decision to retire] but
it was emotional.

"We were devastated. But it's a great club and we have to move on - and he wants that. That's what we'll do. He's left a great legacy.

The Red Devils secured their 20th league title at a canter this term after agonisingly losing out on the final day of last season to Manchester City
, a trauma that Ferdinand believes his side have used as motivation during this campaign.

"We wanted the title back, no doubt about that. That was always the aim. It's always sweet when you win the title and it was nice to do it in the right way and in style, not on goal difference. We have won it comfortably."

United face a tough challenge next season to retain their title under the stewardship of David Moyes, though Ferdinand expects the current Everton boss to have the full support of the playing staff.

"We were all delighted," he confirmed.

"It was important the club made a decision quickly and it all got sorted out. I am sure the manager thought long and hard about his own decision but the club have acted swiftly and it's great to see the new manager coming in.

"I think
David Moyes will be very open and sympathetic to the traditions of the club. He'll try to continue that and not come in and make changes in terms of the whole characteristics of the club. That's important for a club of this size."