Manchester United are considering whether to offer Rio Ferdinand a new contract, according to reports, with the defender currently suffering from ongoing injuries.
Ferdinand has entered into the final 12 months of his contract with the Red Devils, and will be able to talk to other club in January over a possible move if Sir Alex Ferguson feels he can't offer the club enough to warrant a new deal.
The defender has been an integral part of the United squad since moving from Leeds in 2002, and at 33 years of age, he is still seen as a figure of leadership off the pitch at least.
Ferguson is no stranger to offering deals to aging players and trusting in them to keep delivering, with Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs both still playing important parts in the midfield line-up, despite being 37 and 38 respectively.
Injuries have kept Ferdinand on the sidelines for most of this season so far, making appearances in just three league matches. And the Guardian reports that Ferguson will wait until the start of the new year before deciding to keep him for the long-term future.
The likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have been emerging as possible long-term replacements for the aging defence that currently consists of Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, with Jonny Evans also coming into his prime. But injuries have caused problems for the entire backline this season, which will no doubt have been a stark reminder for Ferguson on how much depth is needed at the back as the season rolls on.
Ferdinand may be in with a shout for a spot on the England side again after John Terry retired from representing his country amidst an FA hearing into accusations that he racially abused Rio's brother Anton Ferdinand.
The defender is reportedly open to the idea of re-joining the Three Lions, despite being particularly aggrieved at not getting a mention for Euro 2012, but Roy Hodgson is yet to speak to him about the possibility of playing for the side again.