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Leeds United chairman Peter Ridsdale believes the appointment of Terry Venables as the club’s new manager will convince Rio Ferdinand to stay at Elland Road.

“The encouraging thing was that Rio wanted us to know that he was hugely impressed with our appointmentof Terry Venables,” said Ridsdale.

Ferdinand’s transfer value has soared on the back of some impressive World Cup performances and with Leeds desperate to reduce their deficit, several clubs, notably Manchester United and Arsenal, are understood to have expressed their interest in a player valued at £35million.

Venables contacted Ferdinand’s agent Pini Zahavi as soon as his appointment was confirmed, in in an effort to persuade Ferdinand to stay at Elland Road. Ridsdale meanwhile, has been conducting negotiations with Zahavi and believes that Venables’ appointment will be a sitgnificant factor in convincing the player to stay.

“Let’s just say that having Terry in charge won’t exactly hinder our chances of putting all this uncertainty to rest,’ said Ridsdale.

“Rio’s camp wanted to know where things stood and I was happy to repeat that he is not for sale under any circumstances,” added the Leeds chairman.

“They were absolutely fine about that and it was a very friendly, convivial meeting. I made it clear that Rio was a very important part of our plans under Terry.

“As far as I’m concerned, he has four years left on his contract and is going to be here for a good while yet.’

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