Leeds United chairman Peter Ridsdale has held talks with club captain Rio Ferdinand in an attempt to persuade the England defender to stay at Elland Road.

Ridsdale turned down Ferdinand’s transfer request yesterday and flew back to England today to discuss the situation with the player. The £35 million-rated player had earlier asked for a move amid rumours that Manchester United were preparing a bid for his services.

After the meeting, Ridsdale issued a statement reiterating the club’s desire to hold on to their most-prized asset.

“I met Rio Ferdinand today and we had amicable and constructive talks about his future,’ the chairman stated.

“I stress that we donot wish to sell Rio under any circumstances and would like to see him fulfill the contract he signed in November 2000.

“I also stressed that Leeds United have not received a bid from any club that would come anywhere near meeting the valuation we put on a player we believe to be the world’s best defender.

“Rio has assured me that if the position remains as it is he will give his full commitment as a player and captain to Leeds United.”