Rio Ferdinand is among the candidates being considered for a senior football role at Manchester United, the Guardian reports.
Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, is seeking to appoint a technical director whose job will include long-term strategy of United’s first team.
The position will identify and recommend prospective players in the first instance, rather than be responsible for ensuring deals get over the line. This latter element would remain with Matt Judge, who as head of corporate development is effectively Woodward’s No 2.
Woodward has an ongoing dialogue with Ferdinand and is known to have met him recently and to admire his football knowledge. The 40-year-old Ferdinand was a United teammate of the manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, for five years from 2002, and there is a mutual respect between the two.
The former defender was captain of the United team that beat Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final and won six Premier League titles before he left for Queens Park Rangers in May 2014.
Ferdinand, who remains a United fan, works for BT as a football expert and lives with his family in the south of England. Whether those circumstances would be an obstacle is unclear.
He is among several people of interest to Woodward, but Solskjær’s assistant Mike Phelan is unlikely to be considered.