Real And Barca Target Rio

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Manchester United are heading for a Ronaldo-style battle to hang on to Rio Ferdinand.

The England defender is a target for Barcelona and Real Madrid – and knows a move to Spain will boost his growing business career.

Ferdinand is under contract until 2013 but United could be tempted to cash in on a player who is 30 and who has suffered from recent injury problems.

A move to Spain would give brand Rio the kind of platform both David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have exploited at Madrid.

A source revealed: “Rio can see the sense of it.

“Not only would it be a fresh challenge as he nears the end of his career, it would also fit all his projects off the pitch.

“Rio has big business plans, which are already taking shape, and would really take off if he moved to one of the big Spanish clubs.”

Ferdinand’s growing portfolio includes running a record label and a football agency. He is also about to launch a lifestyle management company.

Another off-the-field project is #5 Magazine, which uses the latest digital technology.

Elsewhere, the Rio Ferdinand Live The Dream foundation was established last year to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to take part in sports, arts and cultural activities.

A launch party in December, costing £495 per head, will feature Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a guest speaker.

The Sun

~ by footballdirecta on September 6, 2009.

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