Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed the influence of Rio Ferdinand on the Manchester United dressing room, claiming that he is a great role model for the younger players.

Fergie has already confirmed that he has left Rio in charge of talking to Paul Pogba to convince him to shun Juventus in favour of a new contract with us, but has today revealed that our defender has an influence on the entire dressing room.

“I forget Rio’s been here for nearly ten years now. I keep thinking I signed him three or four years ago!” Fergie said. “He has taken on that role of the influential person in the dressing room. He’s great in the dressing room with the players. That’s the advantage you have if you can keep players long enough for the influence to spread. In the modern game, as we know, it’s difficult to keep players for more than five or six years. But the longer they stay here the better the influence spreads to them and they can maybe take over from the older players as they disappear.”