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Rio Ferdinand releases statement, will move on from Manchester United

May 12, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT

After 12 years and more than 400 appearances, Rio Ferdinand will no longer don the red of Manchester United.

The club will not offer the 35-year-old defender a new contract.

From the BBC:

BBC Sport understands he intends to continue playing but his next club is still unknown.

He has helped United win six league titles, two League Cups, one Champions League and a Club World Cup.

He signed a new one-year extension to his contract in May last year, keeping him at the club until the end of this season.

Few were expecting Ferdinand to stay around Old Trafford, but the report makes it clear he’ll be wearing someone else’s colors… and it will look odd.

Ferdinand released this statement:

“I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future, and after 12 fantastic years playing, for what I regard, as the best club in the world, I have decided the time is right for me to move on.

“I joined Manchester United in the hope of winning trophies, and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how successful we would be during my time here. There have been so many highlights, playing alongside some great players who have become good friends, winning my first Premier League title and also that fantastic night in Moscow are memories that I will cherish forever.

“Circumstances didn’t allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my teammates, staff, the club & the fans for an unbelievable 12 yrs that I’ll never forget. Winning trophies I dreamed about as a kid came true at this great club.

“I am feeling fit and healthy, ready for a new challenge and looking forward to whatever the future holds for me.”

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