MANCHESTER, England - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said yesterday his relationship with Rio Ferdinand was back to normal after he held clear-the-air talks with the defender.
Ferguson had accused Ferdinand of embarrassing him after the player refused to wear a 'Kick It Out' anti-racism T-shirt in the warm-up prior to the 4-2 home win over Stoke City on Sunday.
The long-serving Scot had said prior to the game that all his players would wear the T-shirts, stressing his view that a united front was the best approach.
Ferdinand's younger brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton, was the subject of racist abuse from John Terry last year, for which the Chelsea captain is currently serving a four-match suspension.
After Sunday's game, the Scot claimed Ferdinand had let the club down and would be "dealt with".
But any tension between the two appeared to have thawed yesterday, with Ferguson hinting that the 33-year-old player could even be offered a new contract when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
"I think Rio could play for another two or three years," said Ferguson at a press conference in Manchester ahead of United's Champions League game with Portuguese side Braga at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
"He's not as quick as he was but that's not a problem for me. There's no reason why he can't stay on for another year."