Manchester United will have to do without club captain Rio Ferdinand for tomorrow’s Champions League group fixture away to Turkish side Bursaspor, reports The Telegraph.
No immediate reason was given for the defender’s absence from the party that boarded a flight to Turkey this morning but it is believed to be a precautionary measure, with the four-hour flight time perhaps inappropriate for a man with Ferdinand’s back problems.
Other absentees included Jonny Evans, Federico Macheda, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney. United head into the Bursaspor clash with seven points from their first three games.
Rio denies contract claims.
Meanwhile Rio appears to have spent his Sunday fuming over allegations, made in The Mirror, that he was set to demand contract talks in the light of Wayne Rooney’s new deal.
Ferdinand moved quickly to deny the story, tweeting: “I am not ‘the next player asking for a bumper new contract’ contrary 2 reports 2day. Can the journo tell us where he heard that one?”
Fergie baffled by Rooney form.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he is at a loss to explain Wayne Rooney’s long-running slump in form.
Rooney endured a torrid World Cup and has only scored one Premier League goal this season.
“I don’t know the reason for his loss of form because it started in the World Cup,” he told The Sun. “Whether some clubs have been filling his head in that period to affect him we don’t know.
“The important thing is for us to put it behind us. But certainly something has been troubling him.”