Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is reportedly considering retirement from football when his contract expires at the end of the season, as the world of television punditry attempts to lure him into a new profession.
Ferdinand has already begun his work with BT Sport, but chiefs at the breakthrough sports channel have made no secret that they have a position of a main football analyst ready and waiting for him should he hang up his boots in the summer.
The centre-back is not expected to make up his mind until later on in the season, although should he wish to continue he could activate an optional clause in his contract that would keep him at Old Trafford for an additional year.
The 35-year-old is no longer assured of his place in the first team under David Moyes, with Jonny Evans having started the last four matches alongside one of Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic or Ferdinand himself.
Reports suggest that the former England international is currently favouring a move to the TV studio over battling for a place in Moyes’ side or moving abroad for a last hurray, with the ambition to secure a high-profile media reputation that can rival ones like his former teammate Gary Neville’s.
Ferdinand recently criticised Moyes on a BT Sport video diary for his tendency to delay the naming of his side, which he said was driving the players mad due to the uncertainty they faced on match days.
In the diary, Ferdinand said that the players were needlessly wasting energy in wondering if they had been picked for a match, and that they would then find it hard to hit the right intensity levels during a game.
“You’re just going round in circles in your head and turning into a madman,” said Ferdinand, who also admitted that it wasn’t how Sir Alex Ferguson used to do things.
Ferdinand will also be part of the BBC’s line-up for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which could be a sign of things to come as he continues to further his reach in the world of analysis.