Lift for David Moyes as Rio Ferdinand agrees new deal at Manchester United

Defender signs one-year contract extension

David Moyes had no hesitation in rubber-stamping Rio Ferdinand's one-year contract extension because he believes the Manchester United defender has just had one of his best seasons ever.

Sir Alex Ferguson said exactly that a month ago, having felt all along Ferdinand would commit himself to Old Trafford for a further season.

But with Moyes now replacing his fellow Scot as manager, it still required his seal of approval before the deal could be ratified yesterday.

"It is clear for everyone to see that Rio has had one of his best seasons with the club," said Moyes.

"Even from the outside you can see what a big character Rio is around the dressing room.

"I am delighted he has signed a new contract and I am looking forward to working with him."

Although there has been no official confirmation, it is anticipated there will be a testimonial for Ferdinand at some stage during the summer, although an opponent is yet to be agreed.

Whilst the deal itself is hardly a surprise, it is significant in that it was agreed with Ed Woodward, who will take over as chief executive from David Gill in the summer, and had to be ratified by Moyes before finally being completed.

It underlines the vast change taking place at Old Trafford, with both men amongst the rookies in United's tour party when they leave for Australia and the Far East in July.

Only Javier Hernandez will miss the trip as he is required for Confederations Cup duty with Mexico in the summer.

Shinji Kagawa will also be involved for Japan, although as United are due to play two tour games in the midfielder's homeland it would be a major surprise if he did not make some sort of appearance.

For Ferdinand it will represent a 12th pre-season campaign.

And, after claiming his sixth Premier League title this term, he has already set his sights on number seven.

"Who wouldn't want to play in this fantastic team in front of 75,000 fans every week," he said.

"It has been an incredible journey and I am glad it will continue.

"I can now fully concentrate on my club career, which has worked well for me over the past few years.

"This is a great team to be part of and we are now moving into a new era, which is very exciting.

"I have met with David Moyes and I am really looking forward to working with him and winning many more trophies with this great club."

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