Rio Ferdinand reveals he was close to Barcelona move in 2008

Rio Ferdinand pitchside for BT Sport television during the FA Cup Third Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on January 04, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he was close to signing for Barcelona in 2008.

The 41-year-old enjoyed a magnificent stint at Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson, winning six Premier League titles and one Champions League with the Red Devils between 2002 and 2014.

The defender's solitary European crown in the 2007-08 season saw United defeat Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League, and Ferdinand has lifted the lid on discussions with then-manager Frank Rijkaard.

Speaking to BT Sport, Ferdinand said: "It came close, there were discussions with my agent. Barcelona had touched base. I'd spoken to Rijkaard not about going there but he kind of made his feelings known.

"It was after the game in Barcelona we drew 0-0 in the tunnel after the game when I spoke to Rijkaard. I always said I wanted to play abroad but the only thing that would stop me was if I was winning and successful on home shores.

"I was lucky I found a great club at Manchester United it would've been almost impossible for me to leave."

Ferdinand made 455 appearances for United across all competitions, netting eight times.

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