London, Sep 5 (ANI): Defender Rio Ferdinand is the new target for Barcelona and Real Madrid, making it difficult for Manchester United to hold him from shifting base.
United is headed for a Ronaldo-style battle to hang on to Rio Ferdinand.
Ferdinand is under contract until 2013, but United could be tempted to cash in on the player who is 30 and who has suffered from recent injury problems, The Sun reports.
A move to Spain would give brand Rio the kind of platform both David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have exploited at Madrid.
"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," a source revealed.
"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. (ANI)