Manchester United are said to be giving ‘serious consideration’ to the appointment of Rio Ferdinand as their sporting director – following a series of meetings between their former player and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
United have so far drawn a blank in their hunt to appoint someone into the newly-created role with the likes Paul Mitchell, Monchi, Giuseppe Marotta, Fabio Paratici, Edwin van der Sar and, most recently, Mike Phelan among the names linked with the role.
But the Daily Mail claims United’s owners, the Glazers, have always wanted Ferdinand back at the club in some capacity – and now talks between the six-time Premier League winner and Woodward have drawn to a positive outcome.
The report claims that Ferdinand impressed during his interview over the role and both the owners and Woodward feel Ferdinand two key elements to the role that, arguably, none of the other candidates could: know-how and passion.
In addition, the club believes the appointment of Ferdinand, who played for United in over 300 games during a highly-successful 12-year spell at the club, would go down well with supporters, who would rather see a popular old boy in the job than an Old Trafford outsider.
Furthermore, and unlike plenty of other United old boys working in the media, Ferdinand has kept his nose clean in terms of his critique of the club.
The Mail does not state when a decision will be made over the position, but with the summer transfer window looming large, United will want someone in place sooner rather than later.
United are currently locked in a three-way battle with Chelsea and Arsenal to secure the fourth and final Champions League place and know they must win their final two matches of the season to boost their chances.
And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows United still have plenty to do after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea left the Blues in the driving seat.
“I don’t think we can give up until it’s theoretically over, but of course it’s a big mountain to climb,” Solskjaer said.
“We need to focus on those last two games, do our best for ourselves, win games and see what the other games throw up. The end of a season throws up a few marginal decisions, strange results, so anything can happen.
“We still want to finish the season on a high and let’s see where that takes us now. Let’s see how many points we can get.”
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