After 12 seasons, six Premier League titles and one Champions League triumph, Rio Ferdinand has called time on a stellar Manchester United career, but with the best England centre-half of his generation planning to prolong his stay in football, we’ve had a look at what could be on offer.
Arsene Wenger has plenty of form for picking up veteran free agents, having re-signed former top Gunners Thierry Henry and Sol Campbell at 34 and 35-years-old respectively, while the Frenchman clearly feels no compunction regarding raids on his rival Red Devils.
Mikael Silvestre did a job for two seasons at the Emirates after a nine-year spell at Old Trafford and with little quality in the Arsenal centre-half ranks beyond first-choice pairing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, a move for Ferdinand certainly cannot be ruled out.
The 35-year-old was strongly linked with a move to Chicago Fire before signing a one-year contract extension in the north west last summer and a number of MLS franchises are thought to be lining up to take Ferdinand stateside, where he would join former teammates David Beckham, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane.
The R’s are 5/6 favourites to beat Derby in the Championship play-off final and make it back into the Premier League at the first attempt.
Should they manage it, boss Harry Redknapp will be out in force when the transfer window reopens and would surely love to be reunited with a player he handed a senior debut to at West Ham back in 1996.
While Ferdinand has stated that he wants to play on, the south London native is signed to BT Sport as an interviewer, programme-maker and football expert and will also go to the World Cup in Brazil as an employee of the BBC.
The centre-half clearly sees his future on the small screen and has already conducted interviews with the likes of Roger Federer, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Usain Bolt for various publications and broadcasters.
The Irons were linked to Ferdinand – whose £18m move from Upton Park to Leeds in 2000 is still the club’s record transfer in or out – before the end of the season and speculation that he could return to east London has intensified since news of his Old Trafford departure.
West Ham may struggle to hold on to fans’ favourite Winston Reid this summer, with the New Zealand international centre-half linked with Liverpool of late and that could pave the way for a Ferdinand swansong at his first football home.