Manchester United could feel the first pinch of Malcolm Glazer's takeover of the club as the US business tycoon has decided to release defender Rio Ferdinand if he refuses a final 100,000 pounds-a-week contract offer.
Though manager Alex Ferguson has insisted that the England defender would stay at Old Trafford, Glazer has decided that the five-year deal to replace the final two years of his contract was Ferdinand's last offer.
Ferguson would have only 26 million pounds a year to spend in the transfer market and the United regime prefer to sell Ferdinand now rather than run the risk of the player leaving for nothing in 2007.
The American was keen to cut the budget as he has huge interest payments on the debt after wrapping up a 790 million pound takeover earlier this month.
On Monday, Ferdinand was reported to be among a group of footballers questioned after alleged stag party high jinks at a hotel.
A police investigation was launched into an allegation that a fellow guest was sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher during the early morning disturbance.
Ferdinand and Michael Duberry had been at a stag party thrown by Millwall midfielder Jody Morris.
The Sun reported that police confirmed all three footballers were among those spoken to but no one was arrested and it was unclear which, if any, of the footballers were involved in the alleged assault.
The alleged incident occurred just hours after reports that Ferdinand was involved in a fracas in a Swedish nightclub.