SINGAPORE - Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand avoided talk of Wayne Rooney's future at the club, as well as reports linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a return, insisting he is "ill-informed" about the club's latest happenings.
After clinching a record 20th English league title last month, the club have been linked to Borussia Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski and Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara, while talk of Ronaldo making a sensational return from Real Madrid persists.
Speaking at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) skating rink on Thursday, where he and 17 other English Premier League (EPL) stars past and present conducted an hour-long football clinic for 60 school children from The Guardian Academy as part of the MBS Corporate Social Responsibility programme, Ferdinand, seen as an influential figure in the United dressing room, claimed he is not in the loop.
"I tweet about players whom I like to watch and find interesting, but it's not up to me who we buy," he said.
"I'm like a fan, I sit there and look at my Twitter, I look at the papers and the Internet to find out who we may be buying or signed. We're waiting to see what happens."
But former Argentina and Tottenham Hotspur star Osvaldo Ardiles refused to dismiss the possibility that Ronaldo, who is reportedly being offered a five-year deal worth 155 million euros (S$260.6 million), could return to United.
"It may or may not happen, you never know, but obviously Ronaldo would like to play in the Premier League again," said Ardiles, a World Cup winner in 1978.
New United manager David Moyes will have a tough start to the 2013-14 season against Swansea on the opening day on Aug 17, followed by Chelsea (Aug 24), Liverpool (Aug 31), Crystal Palace (Sept 14) and Manchester City (Sept 21).
"It's a lively start ... Normally, you get a little easing into the season ... so you got a few games to find your feet. We've got to hit the ground running," said Ferdinand.
Other EPL luminaries present on Thursday included retired United stars Denis Irwin and Andrew Cole, Liverpool's Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and John Barnes, former England and Tottenham star Glenn Hoddle, and Stoke City's Peter Crouch.
"You will continue to see us bring in celebrity style personalities in the world of sports, entertainment or fashion," said MBS President and Chief Executive Officer George Tanasijevich. "We have certain facilities set up well for sports. We'll continue to explore new and different ways to do things." - CNA