West Ham boss Sam Allardyce wants to bring Rio Ferdinand home
Expiring contract and Fergie clash could pave way for Bosman transfer
West Ham United have openly expressed their interest in bringing former son Rio Ferdinand back to Upton Park.
The 33-year-old Manchester United centre-back is on Hammers boss Sam Allardyce’s summer wish-list already, such is his desire to sign the ostracised England star.
Ferdinand’s powers have evidently been on the wane over the past couple of years, proved by the fact he has only breached 30 league appearances for United once since the 2007/08 campaign.
His detractors claim he has lost his pace and ability to match the movement of the games premier marksmen, with Sir Alex Ferguson has been forced to use him more sparingly in recent seasons.
Injury problems and fitness concerns have hampered Ferdinand in his older age, and he has all but fallen out of international reckoning with the Three Lions.
The stopper once held the British transfer record and was the world’s most expensive defender when he moved to Leeds from West Ham for £18m in 2000, and could be persuaded to return to East London.
It cost United around £30m to secure his signature from Leeds, and Allardyce will see a hugely experienced player who could give his defence the edge as they adjust to life in England’s top tier.
The ex-Newcastle manager played down immediately moving for Ferdinand, but couldn’t deny a summer switch was in his thoughts.
“I think it’s highly unlikely that we would consider Rio Ferdinand at the moment,” said Allardyce.
“But if it’s at the end of the season and he hasn’t got a new contract and he is going to leave Manchester United then we would be interested if we can sustain our Premier League status. It depends entirely on Rio.
“Everything has to be in place. If Rio wants to come back, if he wants to live back in London eventually, which is were he comes from, which is what quite a few players like to do before the end of their careers then that might be an advantage for us.”
The old adage of a week is a long time in football is often proved resoundingly true, and to look towards May whilst still in October may be hard to do, but things could well be different in seven months time.
Ferdinand’s recent clash with Ferguson over the racism campaign t-shirts showed how the two will always be men of their own thought, with their own ideas of how situations are to be handled.
Whilst that minor rift appears to have been resolved, Fergie has a proven track record for dumping his stars if they don’t toe his line, and Ferdinand might feel a key role at West Ham beats becoming increasingly marginalised at Old Trafford.
A transfer to London could aid his fledging magazine #5, whilst the prospect of turning out for his first professional club again could prove too hard to turn down.
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