With Rio Ferdinand’s future extremely uncertain after the final game of Manchester United’s season this summer, the legendary England and United defender is pretty relaxed about things.
Many players Ferdinand’s age, 35, have already thought heavily about the next step by this point but Rio only has one thought on his mind: keep playing.
Ferdinand’s contract expires at the end of this season at United and the stalwart, who joined the club in 2002 for $50 million which was then a world record fee for a defender, wants to carry on playing for as long as possible. Bravo.
In the past Ferdinand has been linked with countless Major League Soccer franchises as the class and skill of the former West Ham and Leeds United defender is undoubted. Can the ball-playing center back keep himself healthy enough to contribute wherever he ends up?
Recent history would suggest he has still got some gas left in the tank after playing 56 games over the past two seasons for United.
While you try and figure out if any MLS squads would be daft or clever to pick Ferdinand up this summer, our friends at Soccerly take a look at his latest comments.
Ferdinand’s current contract with United expires at the end of the campaign and there has been no suggestion as yet that he will be offered a new deal after spending much of the season out of favor with boss David Moyes, who was sacked last month. The 35-year-old did not make the match-day squad for United’s final home game against Hull under interim manager Ryan Giggs, who is set to be replaced by Holland coach Louis van Gaal after the World Cup.
But Ferdinand, who joined United from Leeds in July 2002 for £30 million ($50 million, 36 million euros), feels he still has plenty to offer, regardless of whether his future lies at Old Trafford. “I am fit, I am healthy and I want to continue playing,” said Ferdinand, who will be part of BBC’s World Cup coverage team in Brazil.
“I have spoken to a lot of mates of mine in the game and they all say the same thing — keep playing for as long as you can. The club at the moment is in a position where they can’t really make any decisions about anything. For me to be saying I want to do this or that is irrelevant, because we have got to see who becomes the new manager and boxes will be ticked from there. I just want the best solution for the club. Whatever it is, then I will respect it. After that I am open to offers. But I would rather wait and see what happens at United and then there will be a decision to be made.”
This is a big blow to Everton, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Yannick Bolasie is set for a long spell on the sidelines after suffering an ACL injury in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
The 27-year-old attacker has played in every match for the Toffees, and is an electric attacking threat. He has one goal and four assists in PL play this season, after nabbing five and four for Palace last season.
[ PL: Grading the superstars’ seasons ]
A $32 million buy from Crystal Palace, Bolasie will miss the Africa Cup of Nations next month and likely send the Toffees into the transfer market.
Manager Ronald Koeman has made no secret of his Memphis Depay admiration, and this could tip Everton’s hand.
Game changer, season changer, title changer.
It’s hard to find a phrase that would overstate what it would mean if a club could pry Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the hands of Borussia Dortmund.
Aubameyang raised eyebrows Monday with his non-dismissal of a transfer possibility. It wasn’t quite a “come and get me”, but the door is certainly open.
[ MORE: U.S. Soccer’s Player of Year finalists ]
“I don’t know if I will stay. I just think about playing good football right now. I want to give my best and win titles. I just think about the sport and nothing else.”
If you don’t pay a lot of attention to the Bundesliga, it might be easy to overlook Aubameyang. But the season he’s having with BVB’s wealth of playmaking midfielders is overwhelming. Give him less than a yard, and he’s all set.
Throw in the UEFA Champions League, and “Auba” has 18 goals in 18 matches. In the Bundesliga, he has a 4-goal night at Hamburg but also goals against Bayern and Hertha. Aubameyang has two braces, and has only been held off the score sheet three times (BVB is 1D-2L in those contests).
Put plainly, no one is doing what he’s doing right now.
Top Five leagues, 2016-17 goals (matches)
- Aubameyang, BVB — 15 (12)
- Edinson Cavani, PSG — 14 (14)
- Anthony Modeste, Koln — 12 (13)
- Mauro Icardi, Inter Milan — 12 (14)
- Eden Dzeko, Roma — 12 (15)
- Alexandre Lacazette — 11 (11)
- Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal — 11 (14)
- Diego Costa, Chelsea — 11 (14)
- Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid — 10 (11)
- Sergio Aguero, Manchester City — 10 (12)
- Andrea Belotti, Torino — 10 (13)
- Lionel Messi, Barcelona — 9 (9)
- Luis Suarez, Barcelona — 9 (12)
- Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich — 9 (13)
- Iago Aspas, Celta Vigo — 9 (13)
- Ciro Immobile, Lazio — 9 (15)
- Alassane Plea, Nice — 9 (16)
As we await the future of both the North American Soccer League and its champion New York Cosmos, another dark cloud arrived regarding both.
Empire of Soccer reports that the Cosmos have terminated all of its player contracts, putting a 2017 season into the neighborhood of improbability.
[ MORE: Atlanta signs second DP ]
New York’s staff is on furlough, and the club has been “on the brink of collapse” for weeks (if not longer).
The USL avoided having its champion collapse by finding new owners for the Rochester Rhinos in the offseason. Will New York be able to do the same?
U.S. Soccer unveiled the finalists for its top 2016 Male, Female, and youth awards on Monday.
MLS stars Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, and Clint Dempsey are joined by Geoff Cameron and Bobby Wood as top men’s player nominees. The winner will be announced on the eve of Saturday’s MLS Cup Final.
[ MLS: Best XI has historic American low ]
Stoke City’s Cameron and Hamburg’s Wood are the European-based players on the list, while Fabian Johnson did not make the cut. Dempsey has been limited by heart problems, but still found a way to the list.
John Brooks and Christian Pulisic are also notable exceptions, though the latter is a finalist for the younger award.
The five-woman list for Female Player of the Year sees Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, and Becky Sauerbrunn vying to finish second behind Carli Lloyd (Sorry, we couldn’t resist even with Heath’s incredible season).
The Young Male award promises to be a showdown between Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund) and Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), though it’s difficult to see the latter edging the former. Also in the frame are Spurs back Cameron Carter-Vickers, Atlanta United teenager Andrew Carleton and U.S. U-17 star Josh Sargent.
The Young Female nominees are midfielders Emily Ogle and Andi Sullivan, defenders Kaleigh Riehl and Karina Rodriguez and forward Ashley Sanchez.