LONDON (AFP) – Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he and his team-mates find transfer speculation every bit as intriguing as the supporters in the stands.
The 34-year-old centre-back, who will play in his testimonial match against Sevilla at Old Trafford on Friday, says that United's players pore over transfer rumours just like any other group of fans.
"We come in and look at the papers or social media or whatever, and say 'So-and-so has bought so-and-so, what do you think? Is he any good? I don't think he'll be any good, he'll be a great big waste of money,'" he told the BBC.
"We're just exactly the same. It's just like four fellas sitting in a pub. We're just sitting in a training ground doing it (instead). People don't expect it because we're players."
Ferdinand is working under a new manager for the first time in his United career, after David Moyes took over following Alex Ferguson's retirement at the end of last season.
The former England defender has long observed an individual training programme to preserve his fitness, and he says that Moyes has been respectful of the existing protocols.
"The manager knows I've got a certain way that I need to train, that I know my body -- like Giggsy (Ryan Giggs) as well," Ferdinand said.
"He has kind of left it open to us to continue what we were doing to get us (playing) last season.
"That's been fantastic for me because you get worried a little bit and think 'Oh, it's a new manager, is he going to let us continue our regimes that we're involved in to get us out to play football and to train every day?' But it's the sign of a great manager that he has."
Ferdinand also praised Moyes for striking the right balance in his personal dealings with the squad.
"The new manager is quick to join in the banter, but when it's work time, it's work time," he said.
"The players at Manchester United aren't there to mess about on the training pitch, we're there to enjoy ourselves but to be drilled and to make sure we're all going in the same direction, and that's to be successful."
Ferdinand also joked that his former United team-mate Phil Neville has gone to great lengths to distance himself from the players since returning to the club as a coach.
"We don't talk to Phil on first-name terms any more -- it's 'coach'," Ferdinand said.
"He's changed his number, he won't let anyone call him. I used to speak to him and text him and stuff but he won't have it any more -- he's a changed man so far really."