Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who enjoyed a trophy laden playing career at Old Trafford between 2002 to 2014 has recently met with Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, and could be in line to take on the Sporting Director role that is hoped will see the resurgence of the Red Devils after six years of disastrous dealings in the transfer market.
“At the end of the day, I’m human and everyone knows my relationship that I’ve got with Manchester United and the love I’ve got for that club.
“So, if I’m asked to play some sort of role at the football club, have that conversation, of course I would. I’d have that sit and chat and then you’d flesh out what that role is and if there’s a possibility to do it or not.
“But again, as I said, I’m very happy on the sofa, in my seat, in the studio.”
Woodward believes that Ferdinand’s understanding of the club, and his ability to communicate with modern footballers would help the former England international to thrive in the role. For his part, Ferdinand has remained friends with Woodward since his time at the club, and would be open to working with him to bring in players who would understand what it takes to wear the red shirt.
“I’ve always spoken to Ed since I left, anyway,” he added. “I had that type of relationship with him.
“I’ve not seen him at a game so all the chats I’ve had with him have been on the phone or I go and see him when I’m in London. I’m not the type to dilly-dally around. I’ve seen the stuff in the paper. ‘What’s that role about?’ I’ve asked that question, so yeah, I have spoken to him.
“I’m very honest and Ed’s open and honest with me. Manchester United and the powers that be will decide as and when they are going to put someone into that role.
“If I am the person on that list and the person they are going to talk to, then that time will come. It’s nice to be on a list in such a responsible role at such a prestigious club.
“If the call comes I will say: ‘thank you very much for that.’ But if that call doesn’t come, I’ll not lose sleep over it.”
Ferdinand made his Premier League debut with West Ham in 1996, and picked up the ‘Hammer of the Year’ award during the 1997/98 season at just 19 years of age. After several successful seasons at Upton Park, Ferdinand joined Leeds United for £18 million, a British transfer record at the time.
In 2002, with Leeds in crippling financial trouble, and after a standout performance for England at the 2002 World Cup, Ferdinand moved to Manchester Unite for £29.1 million, again a British transfer record.
After 12 years at Old Trafford, Ferdinand moved to Queens Park Rangers in 2014, but only made 12 appearances for the club. He retired at the end of the 2014/15 season.
This glittering career, coupled with the relationships built at all levels of the game, makes the affable Englishman an intriguing yet solid choice for this critical role in the Manchester United hierarchy.
In a crucial summer that forms yet another rebuild at Old Trafford, fans are currently underwhelmed and apprehensive as they have only seen the arrival of Daniel James from Swansea City, and know that further reinforcements will be needed should the club hop to catch their neighbours Manchester City.