Rio Ferdinand to leave Manchester United

Defender Rio Ferdinand will leave Manchester United this summer after 12 years at the club. Ferdinand's contract expires this summer and he has revealed he will not be signing an extension.

Rio Ferdinand: I would have liked to say goodbye

Rio Ferdinand has spoken of his sadness at not being able to say goodbye properly before his departure from Manchester United.

The veteran defender issued a statement saying: "Circumstances didn't allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked but I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates, staff, the club and the fans for an unbelievable 12 years that I'll never forget.

Read: Rio Ferdinand to leave Manchester United

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Rio Ferdinand to leave Manchester United

Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand will leave Manchester United this summer after 12 years at the club.

Ferdinand's contract had come to an end and the club have opted not to renew the 35-year-old's deal.

Rio Ferdinand showing off his new shirt after signing for Manchester United in 2002. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

He said in a statement: "I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future and, after 12 fantastic years playing for what I regard as the best club in the world, I have decided the time is right for me to move on."

The centre-back joined the Old Trafford outfit for £30m from Leeds United in the summer of 2002, going on to make over 300 appearances.