Sir Alex Ferguson has reiterated his belief that Rio Ferdinand will extend his Reds career beyond this season and replicate the longevity of legends Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.
The 34-year-old veteran defender is out of contract in the summer and is yet to sign a new deal, but his boss believes pen will be put to paper when the timing is right.
When asked at Friday's press conference if Rio will agree an extension, Sir Alex replied: “I don’t think there is any reason why not. We give players one-year contracts and there is nothing wrong with that.
“I don’t think players with the reputation and ability of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand should worry about a one-year contract. It is quite straightforward I think.
“It is not to say we doubt them in terms of longevity. What we are doing is natural because players get to their 30s and you never know how they cope with getting older. Some do, some don’t.
“Players look after themselves and defenders, if they look after themselves, should have longer than Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, or as much as. There have been good examples through the years.
“Going back to the old days, Frank McLintock played until he was 39 or something like that. Defenders can do it if they look after themselves. It does apply to all positions but particularly defenders because they don’t have the mileage on the clock that midfield or wide players have.”
This season, Ferdinand appears to have moved on from the persistent injuries that had hampered previous campaigns and has produced several admirable performances at the heart of United’s defence, most recently during last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane alongside long-term partner Nemanja Vidic.
As Sir Alex explains, this level of performance and quality is no fluke and can be attributed to the careful plan that is mapped out to bring the best out of Rio, taking care to attribute game time in appropriate matches as the Reds chase