London - Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand signed for English Premiership new-boys QPR on a free transfer Thursday and revealed he had
turned down more lucrative offers in order to return to London.
agreed a one-year deal with the Hoops, ending his search for a new club
following his release by United when his contract expired last month.
35-year-old was keen to move back to London, where he was born, and he
has decided to rejoin QPR boss Harry Redknapp, who handed him his
professional debut when the pair worked together at West Ham.
revealed the prospect of turning out for a club he admired as a boy
also persuaded him to move to Loftus Road, where his brother Anton and
cousin Les both played with distinction.
"I used to sit in the
stands, my dad used bring me here as a young boy. There are great
memories for me here and for my family," Ferdinand told QPR's website.
had nothing but good things to say about QPR and I watched Les
(Ferdinand) here as a boy, with the likes of Ray Wilkins, Clive Wilson,
David Bardsley and Alan McDonald."
Ferdinand, who won six Premier
League titles and the 2008 Champions League during his 12-year spell
with United, is Redknapp's first close-season signing after guiding QPR
back into the Premier League via the Championship play-offs.
the former England centre-back admitted he had turned down several more
lucrative offers from across the world to sign for QPR.
to Harry and (owner) Tony Fernandes at length. I think they both looked
me in the eye and knew that I still have something to offer -- that I
had a genuine desire to come here and play football," Ferdinand added.
had a lot of offers from all over the world -- some in places with a
better climate than here. But the draw for me was to play in the Premier
League and back here where it all started.
"It's not about money. I had loads of more lucrative offers available to me.
"I still feel I've got something to offer and I'm excited about helping this club cement its place in the Premier League."
has no doubts Ferdinand can still be an effective performer at the
highest level despite some underwhelming displays for United last
"Rio's a fantastic player and a great professional. I'm delighted we've been able to bring him here," Redknapp said.
signed Rio as a 14 year-old. He was class on the field and off the
field then, and he's continued in that manner throughout his career.
"During his time at Manchester United, he was the best defender in Europe, if not the world.
bring him to QPR - when he's still got so much to offer in terms of his
quality, class, experience and know-how - is a remarkable coup for the