Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Moyes Right Not to Renew Rio Ferdinand Deal

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IDecember 26, 2013

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 05:  Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Real Sociedad de Futbol and Manchester United at Estadio Anoeta on November 5, 2013 in San Sebastian, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

England defender Rio Ferdinand will not have his current Manchester United contract renewed as the club move toward a younger defensive line, according to a report by the Telegraph's Mark Ogden.

This comes as little surprise, with Ferdinand having spent much time outside of the first team in recent weeks and Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all performing well when called upon.

Ferdinand's current deal with the Old Trafford side is set to expire next summer. Ogden reports of his future:

Although Moyes has regularly turned to Ferdinand for United’s Champions League fixtures, the 35-year-old has made just one appearance in the league since the end of September, having started all five of the club’s opening Premier League games this season.

Despite the former England captain accepting media work with the BBC and BT Sport, it is understood that he is prepared to wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to continue his playing career.

And while a contract offer from United is unlikely, there remains strong interest from clubs in the United States and Middle East.

A step toward introducing a new generation of players at Old Trafford has brought about positive performances in recent weeks, with Tom Cleverley, Adnan Januzaj, Danny Welbeck and the defenders named above all performing well.

The introduction of more pace and dynamism in midfield, where Cleverley and Jones have been used due to injury, has also seen improved performances from the side's wingers. Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani have all underperformed over the past 12 to 18 months.

Moyes has not seen his start to life at the club progress quite as he would have hoped, leading to a recent change of direction from what had been a fairly unchanged first 11 from that which he inherited.

Fellow defenders Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra are also among those out of contract next summer, per Transfermarkt, and it may well be that Ferdinand is not the only senior player heading for the exit door.

Ogden reports that the club are hoping to make four first-team signings next summer, while the Manchester Evening News' Rob Dawson reported this week that the on-loan trio of Nick Powell, Jesse Lingard and Ryan Tunnicliffe could be recalled in January after impressing in the Championship this season.

Introducing such players into the first team would be a bold move in itself, but it would be greeted positively by most as being in line with the club's tradition and rewarding those who show progression.

Moyes faces some imposing tests at United in the coming seasons as some of the issues he inherited reach a peak, but they are a club well placed to renovate and return to the top given their enormous commercial pulling power.

Ferdinand, who has been poor on many of his showings this season, looks set to be an early casualty of that rejuvenation process. However, he will not be alone in facing the axe in coming months unless some senior players raise their performance levels back to expected standards.