Rio Ferdinand to leave Manchester United in summer
Rio Ferdinand will leave Manchester United in the summer after not being offered a new contract.
The 35-year-old defender 's departure will bring to an end a 12-year stay at the club, for whom he has made 454 appearances, scoring eight goals.
"After 12 fantastic years, I have decided the time is right for me to move on," said Ferdinand.
BBC Sport understands he intends to continue playing but his next club is still unknown.
United are believed to have told Ferdinand they want him to come back and be a 'Club Legend' going forward, in recognition of what he achieved during his time with the club.
The position is an ambassadorial role that several other significant players from the club's past have accepted.
Ferdinand helped United win six league titles, two League Cups, one Champions League and a Club World Cup.
He made his final appearance for the Old Trafford club in the 1-1 draw at Southampton in the final game of the season on Sunday.
In an open letter on his website, Ferdinand added: "I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future.
"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 team-mates, staff, the club and the fans for an unbelievable 12 years 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."
The club tweeted: "#mufc would like to thank Rio Ferdinand for his long and distinguished service, and wish him well for the future."