Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand may prove difficult in negotiations over a new contract.

The Daily Mail says Ferdinand, 33, whose current deal runs to June 2013, is wanted by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

But talks are likely to be protracted, with United offering Ferdinand a rolling, one-year deal at less than his current £115,000-a-week pay, to reflect his age. Ferdinand would prefer to stay with United but he has an acute value of his worth.

United's medical staff think he can continue to play at the top level until he is 35 at least.