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Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has signed a new four-year deal which will keep him at the club until June 2009.

Ferdinand has come in for verbal abuse from some fans during pre-season as he failed to sign a deal reportedly worth £100,000 per week.

Fans were angry at the player’s appparent reluctance to sign after United stood by him during his eight-month ban from football for missing a drugs test.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson came out in defence of Ferdinand following the barracking in United’s build-up to the new season.

“I think we’ve made our points about that,” he stated before the news broke of Ferdinand’s signing. “I think we’ve addressed it in the proper way.

“He’s a Manchester United player. He’s training and has been terrific and given me 100 percent on the football field. All we should concern ourselves about is he’s putting that strip on and Manchester United fans would expect to get behind him.

“Of course, there’s always a percentage who are always hard to please, it doesn’t matter what the issues are.

Ferdinand became the world’s most expensive defender when he moved to United from Leeds in 2002 for £29.1m.

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