Former England Captain Rio Ferdinand has signed for Queens Park Rangers according to the Daily Mail. The move will reunited Ferdinand with Harry Redknapp who was his first club manager at West Ham. The 67 year-old Redknapp guided Rangers back to the top-flight of English football in May after being relegated the prior season.
Ferdinand was thought to be pondering a move abroad either to Major League Soccer or to possibly the Australian A-League. However, the Daily Mail reports that Ferdinand was intrigued enough by Redknapp’s plans for the club that he agreed to stay in England with a huge wage cut.
QPR’s central defense this past season in the second-flight featured former Manchester City Captain Richard Dunne, as well as Clint Hill and at various times Nedum Onuoha. All three have significant Premier League experience but none quite have Ferdinand’s pedigree. Ferdinand can provide a level of experience and backline cover few others on the market can. Rio’s brother Anton played for QPR from 2011 to 2013, and was embroiled in controversy with the club over alleged racist remarks made by Chelsea’s John Terry. Terry had ironically been replaced as England Captain by Rio Ferdinand in 2010.
Ferdinand left West Ham in 2000 to join Leeds United who was then aspiring to win the UEFA Champions League. On huge wages, Ferdinand’s salary contributed to Leeds financial implosion and he moved to Manchester United two years later for almost £30 million.
At Manchester United, Ferdinand quickly became seen as one of the best English central defenders. His pace and ability quickly read the game in front of him also made him and England regular. The trophy haul Ferdinand contributed to at Manchester United makes him one of the most decorated defenders in the history of the English game. Six Premier League titles and one European Championship are the highlights of his time at Old Trafford. Despite his success, having turned 35 last November United made a decision to part company with Ferdinand at the end of last season.
QPR opens its Premier League campaign on August 16th against Hull City at Loftus Road.