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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
7 days ago

Rio Ferdinand seals QPR switch

Rio Ferdinand signs with Queens Park Rangers on a one-year deal.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has joined Queens Park Rangers on a one-year deal.

- Downes: Rio moves exposes short-term planning

The 35-year-old left United on a free transfer last season after 12 years at Old Trafford and has penned a deal thought to be worth around 70,000 pounds a week.

Ferdinand, who had been working as a TV pundit for the BBC at the World Cup in Brazil for the past month, won six league titles, two League Cups, one Champions League and a Club World Cup at United before leaving when his contract was not renewed at the end of last season.

On his move to Loftus Road, Ferdinand said: "I used to sit in the Loft [Loftus Road] -- my Dad used to bring me here as a young boy. QPR was the first professional club to ever sign me. There are great memories for me here -- for my family.

"Anton [brother] had nothing but good things to say about QPR and I watched [cousin] Les here as a boy, with the likes of Ray Wilkins, Clive Wilson, David Bardsley and Alan McDonald.

"I spoke to Harry [Redknapp, QPR manager] and Mr Fernandes (owner) at length. I think they both looked me in the eye and knew that I still have something to offer -- that I had a genuine desire to come here and play football.

"I had a lot of offers from all over the world -- some in places with a better climate than here. But the draw for me was to play in the Premier League and back here where it all started.

"It's not about money -- I had loads of more lucrative offers available to me. I still feel I've got something to offer and I'm excited about helping this club cement its place in the Premier League."

Ferdinand has now become Redknapp's first summer signing after guiding QPR back into the Premier League through the playoffs.

Until now, Redknapp has focused more on handing new contracts to those players who helped steer the club back to the top flight but, in Ferdinand, he will be adding a man with plenty of experience.

"I really couldn't be more pleased," Redknapp said. "Rio's a fantastic player and a great professional -- I'm delighted we've been able to bring him here.

"I signed Rio as a 14 year-old. He was class on the field and off the field then, and he's continued in that manner throughout his career. During his time at Manchester United, he was the best defender in Europe, if not the world.

"To bring him to QPR -- when he's still got so much to offer in terms of his quality, class, experience and know-how -- is a remarkable coup for the club."

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