• Premier League

'Panicked' Fergie to hand Ferdinand new contract

ESPN staff
October 23, 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson will officially move on from his brief fallout with Rio Ferdinand by offering the Manchester United defender a new one-year contract.

Ferguson admitted on Monday that he should have spoken to his defender about the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign, which was shunned by Ferdinand on Saturday. The United boss reacted angrily to the 33-year-old's decision not to wear the Kick It Out T-shirt, telling him he had let the club down.

Now it appears Ferguson has overlooked another issue with Ferdinand: his playing contract. United's veteran defender becomes a free agent at the end of the season - something Ferguson has only just realised.

"I didn't even realise his contract was up. You are making me panic!" Ferguson was quoted as saying in the Sun.

"We have always adopted that policy of offering one-year contracts, and at 34, I think Rio can play for two or three years.

"He is not as quick as he was but that is not a big issue for me. His experience is important and there is no reason he can't stay on."

Ferdinand will not feature in Tuesday's Champions League clash between United and Braga, as Ferguson keeps one eye on the forthcoming league meeting with Chelsea. Patrice Evra is also rested.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.