Younger Ferdinand dismisses Barca move claims

Anton Ferdinand has brushed aside suggestions he could leave West Ham for Barcelona.

The Spanish champions, who play Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League’s last 16 on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, have been watching Hammers’ centre-half this season – with some reports even suggesting they will make a summer bid for him.

But Ferdinand, the younger brother of Manchester United’s England star, Rio, has denied he may soon be ready to leave the Premiership.

“I’ve heard about it,” admitted the 21-year-old who celebrated his birthday with another clean sheet in the FA Cup tie at Bolton on Saturday, “and it is flattering to hear one of the best clubs in the world have come in.

“But I just play on and concentrate on West Ham. I’ve signed a new deal here, we’ve a young squad and we’ve got years ahead of us. I can’t see why we can’t go on to bigger and better things.”

Ferdinand has also been tipped to press for a place in England’s World Cup squad, but he will be content to wait for international recognition.

He added: “I keep hearing about England. If it happens for me, then I’m going to be over the moon, but I’ve got years ahead of me. In the next year, I would like to keep my consistency up, be more out of Rio’s shadow.

“I would like to be in Europe with West Ham and to be in and around the England squad.”

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