Manchester United FC defender Rio Ferdinand has signed a new four-year contract, committing himself to the club until 2009.
Ferdinand's future at Old Trafford had been in doubt after he rejected an improved contract offer earlier this summer. With Premiership champions Chelsea FC reportedly interested, many at the club feared the worse but the English international has now allayed those doubts by penning an improved long-term contract.
Future in doubt
The news comes as a timely boost to Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of United's opening UEFA Champions League qualifying match against Hungarian champions Debreceni VSC on Tuesday. They then begin their domestic campaign at Everton FC four days later.
The 26-year-old joined Manchester United from Leeds United AFC for a British-record fee of €42m in 2002 after impressing at the FIFA World Cup. In 2004, Ferdinand was handed an eight-month ban after missing a drugs test.
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