Leeds United have rejected a transfer request from Rio Ferdinand and claimed that the club have yet to receive a ‘bid worthy of consideration’ for the £30million-rated central defender.
After two days of talks with family and friends Ferdinand today made the decision that all Leeds fans were dreading.
The former West Ham player has been linked with a move to Leeds’ Premiership rivals Manchester United and Old Trafford boss Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the club are interested in the player. Leeds, who are desperate to reduce the club’s overdraft are prepared to sell players but are keen to retain Ferdinand.
The stallling of Lee Bowyer’s proposed œ9 million move to Liverpool and Olivier Dacourt’s on-off transfer saga to Juventus will increase the pressure on Leeds’ plc board to sell Ferdinand.
The œ30 million generatedfrom their captain’s switch to deadly rivals Manchester United, would raise the œ15 million needed to cover debts and leave new manager Terry Venables with money to spend.
However, after spending the last 48 hours considering his situation, the defender has decided the wishes to quit Elland Road and today submitted his transfer request to Ridsdale.
“I can confirm that Rio Ferdinand has asked for a transfer,’ said Leeds chaiman Peter Ridsdale. ‘This request has been rejected.”
“Secondly, no bid worthy of consideration has been received from any football club for Rio.
“Rio has four years remaining on his current contract and I expect him to respect that contractual obligation.”
Ferdinand joined Leeds in November 2000 for œ18m from West Ham, a record between British clubs. His value soared on the back of an impressive World Cup campaign for Enngland in which Ferdinand was regarded as one of the defenders of the tournament.