Sir Alex Ferguson suggests Ferdinand should turn back on England to prolong Manchester United career

The Scot insisted that if the 33-year-old central defender wants to earn a new contract to stay at Old Trafford, he should consider hanging up his boots for his country
Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Rio Ferdinand that if he wants to land a new deal at Manchester United, he should consider retiring from international football.

John Terry's international retirement announced earlier this week has left a vacancy in the Three Lions' defence, but the Red Devils' manager has warned Ferdinand that extra playing time for his country might effect his chances of earning a contract extension.

But despite this Ferguson still insists that Ferdinand has the quality for the England side.

"He [Ferdinand] could do the job for England, I have no doubt about that," Ferguson told reporters. "But I don’t see why he should. I think he should concentrate on his career here.

"I would prefer that, though I wouldn’t stand in his way. It is his ­decision. But I don’t think it is actually correct that he wants to play for England again.

"When he first started with the back problems, he was out for longer periods," Ferguson said. "Now, we just take care in the training. He is doing yoga and all these things are contributing to his being fit and that’s good.

"He uses his experience now. Six or seven years ago, he had such a great change of pace he used to leave it almost until the last second to turn on the gas and get there.

"Now, he can’t do that. As everyone else, they lose their pace as they get older and he is using his experience to compensate for that. He is not taking any chances now."

The 33-year-old was easily beaten on Saturday afternoon by Gareth Bale, as the Welshman raced past Ferdinand to double the away side's lead in the 32nd minute, highlighting his vulnerability when facing speedy opposition.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson believes that by ruling out a return to England, Ferdinand's focus and fewer minutes could help prolong his career at Manchester United, and as a result be rewarded with the contract extension the defender has set his eyes on.