Rio Ferdinand slams talkSPORT panel after they said he “overstepped the line”

Rio Ferdinand has slammed a talkSPORT panel after they claimed he “stepped over the line” in relation to comments about Manchester United defender Phil Jones.

Ferdinand claimed on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube channel earlier this week that Jones should have left United “ages ago” and that he was taking up a youth team player’s position in the squad.

He stated that Jones had “huge potential” when he arrived at United back in 2011, but that injuries have “annihilated” his career.

The former Red Devils captain also said he was “baffled” that the defender was given a new four-year contract in 2019.

On the contract, he said: “I am baffled how he is still given a new deal at the club given his past few years at the club.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me how you get a new deal.

“I remember back in the day you’d have to do some absolute graft to get a new deal. You’d have to be putting in performances, you’d have to be a vital member of the team. Phil Jones isn’t that.”

Ferdinand’s comments were frowned upon by a talkSPORT panel, made up of Jim White, Simon Jordan and Trevor Sinclair.

Sinclair on Ferdinand comments

Sinclair said: “Of course he is going to accept [the new contract]. He probably has aspirations of getting into the first team.

“I look at Phil Jones, I see a player that has been crippled by injuries over the years – all kinds of different injuries as well.

“I don’t see a bad egg, I look at him, I think he looks like a good pro, he’s not going to cause lots of problems, he’s got a family, he’s got kids, he needs to try and maximise the amount of finance he earns in his career.

“Why would he turn down a contract of Manchester United? I think the only people that need to be criticised are the people that offered him the contract because it has not worked out again.

“For Rio to come out and criticise him and say he should leave the club and he’s holding down an academy player’s opportunity to go into the first team, I’m not happy with Rio about that.

“I think he’s stepped over the line for me.”

Ferdinand’s response

Ferdinand has since responded to Sinclair’s comments.

Under a talkSPORT Instagram post, he simply wrote: “Clowns.”

Jones hasn’t featured for United since their FA Cup fourth round tie against Tranmere in January 2020.

But manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said the defender is recovering from serious injury, and has reportedly told Jones he will be a part of his plans for this season.

The 29-year-old featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Burnley last week.

Featured Image Credit: Getty