Tottenham have raced into pole position to sign exiting Manchester United veteran Rio Ferdinand on a free transfer this summer, according to reports.
The Mirror's David McDonnell says that manager-less Spurs are "favourites" to sign the soon-to-be free agent as he seeks a move back to his native London.
Ferdinand will follow Inter-bound centre-back partner Nemanja Vidic out of Old Trafford, but ex-teammate Gary Neville is quoted by Rob Dawson of the Manchester Evening News saying it's a big risk to let two such longstanding stalwarts of the club leave in the same transfer window:
I think it’s a big risk losing Vidic and Rio at the same time. There are young centre backs coming through, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling. And I think if we’re signing a new centre-back coming from a different country who hasn't played here before, the idea of having a stalwart there would help.
I think it’s a risk. But we’ll see how that pans out.
McDonnell reports that Queens Park Rangers, LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer and Turkish giants Galatasaray are also in pursuit of the 35-year-old's services.
OptaJoe editor Ryan Keaney suggests numerous out-of-contract former England stars could be lured by the potentially lucrative benefits of a move to Loftus Road:
How many of Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry will end up at QPR next season?— Ryan Keaney (@RyanKeaney) May 24, 2014
Ferdinand sits as one of the Three Lions' most decorated and well-renowned defenders of his age, but one has to question what the veteran can offer Tottenham at this stage in his career.
The North Londoners brought in Vlad Chiriches as part of their squad overhaul last summer, rivalling the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul for a place in the starting XI.
Dawson has another two years left to run on his deal at White Hart Lane, but there wouldn't appear to be much in terms of long-term value should Ferdinand arrive at the club, with a two-year deal likely to be the most he can hope for given his age and proneness to injury.
Spurs face a summer of change in which their next big addition has to be that of manager following Tim Sherwood's dismissal, but Ferdinand stands as a high-risk manoeuvre this summer.