• Premier League

United fans threatened Rio to re-sign

ESPN staff
January 3, 2013
Rio Ferdinand has been at Manchester United since 2002 © PA Photos

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has spoken of how a gang of hooded fans confronted him outside his home demanding he signed a new contract eight years ago.

At the time, Ferdinand's future was the subject of much speculation as negotiations with United were progressing slowly despite the England international serving an eight-month suspension for failing to show up for a drugs test in 2003.

More questions over his future were raised when pictures emerged of him with then Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon in a restaurant. Ferdinand revealed how a group of masked United supporters appeared outside his house in 2004, ordering him to commit to the club.

"So I go to the side door and grab a big bit of wood, jump on the side of the wall and I'm just about to scream 'raaaah!' when I see there's a massive group of people, with hoodies and caps covering their faces," he told Four Four Two magazine.

"I just thought, 'I'm going to get served up in a moment, so go bananas and they'll think you're a nutter!' Then one of them said, 'We're the United boys, f****** sign your contract,' and I was like, 'What you talking about? I've only just started negotiating two months ago, what you worrying about?'

"Basically I went to see my agent for half an hour and Kenyon was with him. Someone's taken a picture and made out like we're having a bloody meal together. So I'm saying to these guys, 'If I'm going to do a deal with another club, do you think I'd be doing it in broad daylight?'

"One of the neighbours had called the police by then and they got off when they heard the sirens."

The 34-year-old's current contract at the club he joined from Leeds United in 2002 expires in the summer.

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