Michael Keane is good enough to play for Manchester United now after blossoming at Burnley, according to his former Old Trafford team-mate Rio Ferdinand.
Keane left United in a permanent £1.5million deal two years ago after repeatedly being sent on loan by both Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes.
He was eventually sold by Louis van Gaal, who also gave him his only Premier League appearance for United.
Keane, who has also been linked with Chelsea and Leicester, is likely to leave Burnley this summer for a significant transfer fee and Ferdinand believes he could return to the club he loves.
“He likes to ask questions, he likes constructive criticism and that’s a great attribute to have, to be there, to look at your game in detail and try and improve,” Ferdinand told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“He’s always wanting to improve, whether it’s nutrition, whether it’s physical, whether it’s actual working on your game after training. He was always wanting to learn and understand more.
“I think the moment he found out he was going to leave Manchester United – every kid’s dream in that area is to play for Manchester United – so to leave the club was a huge wrench for him.
“But it allowed him to go and spread his wings and bloom really and become the player he is now. At Manchester United he wasn’t afforded that opportunity, for whatever reason.
“You look at the likes of Pogba; he’s gone away and come back now and become a huge star. Michael Keane, he could do that himself.”
Keane, now rated at around £25million, has himself has been talking to The Guardian, and said: “I always felt I would be a Manchester United player. The coaches used to say to me that sometimes they would send other players out on loan to help them get a move but that was never the case with me.
“They saw it as experience for me because they thought I was good enough to get in the first team when I came back. But then obviously Sir Alex left and it all changed.”