You have to hand it to good old ‘arry. The Tottenham Hotspur manager went to a lot of trouble in his vain attempt to lure England captain Rio Ferdinand away from Old Trafford but as was to be expected, Sir Alex Ferguson soon told Harry Redknapp were to go. The Spurs medical department was even instructed to study the nature of Ferdinand’s injuries and were convinced that they could get 100 games out of him over the next two seasons.
That was enough for Redknapp to conclude that he was the signing Spurs needed and started sounding out Ferguson about his availability but Redknapp’s audacious move never had a chance to get past first base. Sir Alex is simply not prepared to sell his defender.
The White Hart Lane boss and Ferdinand go back a long way and Harry must feel that the England international still has a lot to offer but unfortunately for the Tottenham manager, so does Ferguson. The partnership of Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans hasn’t inspired too much confidence thus far, especially after a less than glorious display against Fulham last week and Ferguson will not even entertain the notion of selling the player who has represented the club with distinction since his arrival in the summer of 2002.
Sir Alex still values the 31 year old crocked defender even though the former West Ham and Leeds man is continually hampered by injury and has not played for his club so far this season. United are committed to paying Ferdinand £18m over the remaining three years of his contract and have made it clear he is not for sale.
The central defender could return to action for United immediately after the forthcoming international break even though Ferguson suggested just days ago that it would be the end of September before the England skipper could contemplate a comeback after suffering a knee ligament injury in training prior to the World Cup.
“Rio hadn’t done anything football wise when I spoke last week” he said “when he read what I said maybe it gave him a kick. But he has come in and trained this week and done fantastic. He will train with the reserves today. We have to try to think when we can get a game with him in the next two weeks – he is that close.”
Ferdinand has been spurred on to quicken his recovery and after getting himself back onto the training ground this week and Ferguson is looking at giving him a game at some point over the next fortnight to test his fitness.
Can Ferdinand get over his injury problems and return to his best form?