Rio Ferdinand has been linked with a tempting offer to finish his playing career with Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire after being left out of the latest England squad due to concerns about his form and fitness.
Chicago, seeking a high profile signing to rival Ferdinand's former team-mate David Beckham at LA Galaxy, were reported by the Daily Mail to be interested in snapping up the 32-year-old defender next summer. Ferdinand will have one year left on his contract at Manchester United then but the past three seasons have seen him struggle with injury and he looked well off the pace when recalled to face Basle in the 3-3 draw in the Champions League last week.
Ferdinand has lost both the United and England captaincies in the past year and though he will be keen to be in Fabio Capello's squad for Euro 2012, a lucrative offer to move to America afterwards will seriously interest him.
Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, is not surprised by Manchester City's start to the season. After seven Premier League games, only goal difference separates the two Manchester teams at the top of the table, and the United manager insisted that a potential title challenge from across the city was what he was expecting. "I've said all along that would happen," Ferguson told Inside United magazine. "They are a good team and they were always going to be there or thereabouts."
City have spent heavily in recent years – Ferguson said that they have "changed football" – and the United manager acclaimed the quality of two of their imports. "Sergio Aguero was bound to do well, coming into the Premier League," Ferguson said, "because he is such a goal threat around the penalty box. David Silva is also a very good player."