West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has revealed that the Hammers might attempt to sign Rio Ferdinand from Manchester United next summer.
The 33-year-old is yet to extend his Red Devils contract, which is set to expire at the end of the season. And despite ruling out an immediate offer, Allardyce confirmed the club's interest in bringing Ferdinand back to Upton Park and stated that a transfer could be possible next summer.
"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. The chairman likes to think big and it's nice to have a chairman who thinks big," ESPN quoted Allardyce as saying.
"Everything has to be in place. If Rio wants to come back, the financial package and so on and so forth and whether they want to release him or not. If he wants to live back in London eventually, which is where 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 58-year-old added.
Ferdinand joined the West Ham academy as a 13-year-old back in 1992, broke into the club's first team in 1996 and made over 150 appearances for the Hammers, before joining Leeds United in an £18.5m move in 2000. The centre-back signed for the Red Devils two years later in a then-British record fee of over £30m.
Benayoun Happy with Hammers Return
Meanwhile, on-loan midfielder Yossi Benayoun has stated that he is happy to have returned to West Ham.
The Israel international spent two seasons at Upton Park (2005-07), before having spells with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. However, having failed to break into the Blues' first team, the 32-year-old was sent out on an initial six-month loan to the Hammers this summer.
"I felt great from the first day I came here. I know a lot of people at the club, so it feels like home. At the moment the loan is until January, so I want to enjoy it as much as possible and, when I get the chance, try to prove myself," the Evening Standard quoted Benayoun.
"It's difficult for a player to come to the team without doing the pre-season with them. You have to be patient. With international breaks, I have had maybe only four weeks with the team and they've been playing well," the midfielder pointed out.