Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane Getty Images

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand has urged Manchester United to sign Chelsea target Raphael Varane.

The Blues manager Jose Mourinho reportedly wants to sign the centre-back from his former club Real Madrid. United are undergoing a period of transition and are in the market for new players.

With captain Nemanja Vidic leaving for Inter Milan and Ferdinand being released at the end of his current contract, the Red Devils have lost two of their most experienced and reliable central defenders.

United's incoming manager Louis van Gaal has already started the overhaul at the club, with Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and Southampton's Luke Shaw arriving at Old Trafford in big money moves.

Varane joined Real from French club Lens in 2011 and is one the most highly rated centre-backs in Europe. Even though he has not established himself as first choice at the Spanish capital club, he is currently the preferred choice for France manager Didier Deschamps at the World Cup in Brazil.

The 21-year-old defender is keeping experienced players like Laurent Koscielny and Eliaquim Mangala out of the French squad.

Therefore, Ferdinand who was hosting a Q&A session for his fans on Twitter said the French defender was who he would sign were he the United coach.

"Varane....Real Madrid won't sell though," Ferdinand tweeted.

Ferdinand also spoke about how Van Gaal should look towards the United academy to strengthen the team, with defender Michael Keane getting special mention.

"(He) will be a top player one day. Cultured. Eager to learn & be coached. Vital," the former United defender said of Keane.

Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs has been talking about his move to a coaching role and how he feels he was not "quite ready" when he took over the manager's job at United. The Red Devils legend also shed light on the importance of working under Van Gaal and learning from him.

"When I took the job there were a lot of things that I was quite happy with, but there and was the odd thing where I thought 'I'm not quite ready for this'. Well it wasn't that I wasn't ready for it, but I could do with a little bit more experience," Giggs told the FA's official website.

"This year I can put everything into it and learn from someone who has managed at the top in so many other countries. It has been a good thing that I have been with Sir Alex for so long but also I am now getting to see how other people work as well. I got a taste of David Moyes and now Louis Van Gaal this year," the Welshman added.