Veteran ex-Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has reportedly turned down the chance to join Premier League outfit Aston Villa.
The 35-year-old defender left Manchester United earlier in the summer after failing to agree a contract extension, thus ending his 12-year stay at Old Trafford.
Ferdinand is believed to have received a number of offers for his services, with a financially lucrative deal to join a MLS outfit also a possible destination.
However, despite an obvious downturn in his performances for the Red Devils in recent seasons due to his dwindling pace and increasing injury troubles, Villa boss Paul Lambert clearly believes Ferdinand is still capable of playing in England’s top tier.
The Midlands outfit endured another difficult campaign last season and only narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship via a 15th place finish.
Lambert has clearly made strengthening his back line a priority considering his side shipped 61 goals during the last campaign, having completed a deal for Philippe Senderos on a free transfer yesterday.
But it has now emerged Ferdinand has declined the opportunity to join the Villa Park outfit, which comes as some surprise given that he has revealed he is keen to continue playing and is reluctant to retire.
The veteran may well be bidding his time in the hope a bigger club will make an approach for his signature, but given that he has performed so poorly in the last season, such an opportunity may not arise.
— Pete O’Rourke (@SkySportsPeteO) June 6, 2014
Rio Ferdinand won nine tackles in the Premier League last season – the lowest total of any Manchester United defender.