Manchester United to slash Rio Ferdinand's salary

Manchester United are ready to offer Rio Ferdinand a one-year contract extension in January – but on around half his current salary.

The defender, who turns 34 next month, has yet to open talks with United about a new deal even though his agreement expires next summer.

The club want to extend his spell at Old Trafford beyond 11 years but, in line with their policy of offering reduced terms to its over-30s players, Ferdinand cannot expect a renewal of his current £120,000-a-week wages.

United are preparing to offer Ferdinand a 12-month package worth around £60-70,000-a-week.

United’s proposal is unrelated to the Kick It Out controversy involving the 33-year-old and manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Premier League giants have a well-established policy of handing less lucrative deals to players once they enter their mid-30s and their first-team appearances are being more strictly rationed. The likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have all taken wage cuts towards the tail-end of their careers.

Ferdinand and his advisers have yet to test temperature in preliminary talks but are not expecting anything other than a one-year contract offer from United.

MLS clubs New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire are among those monitoring Ferdinand’s situation while West Ham, where he began his professional career, would also be interested if there are signs he might leave United next summer.