Rio Ferdinand is one of several candidates Manchester United have spoken to about becoming their first sporting director, Sky Sports News understands.
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has discussed the position with Ferdinand, and wants to finalise an appointment before the start of next season.
United want a candidate who understands how the club works, which makes Ferdinand, who spent 12 years as a player at Old Trafford, an attractive candidate.
The person who fills the newly-created sporting director role is expected to focus on the transfer market, the academy and supporting the management team.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was appointed as United's permanent manager last month, is willing to work with a sporting director and has been involved in discussions regarding the recruitment.
In contrast, Solskjaer's predecessor Jose Mourinho was against such an appointment.
During his time as a player with United, Ferdinand made 455 appearances for the club, winning six Premier League titles, the Champions League and two League Cups.
Since retiring four years ago, the 40-year-old has predominantly worked as a television pundit, and also briefly had plans to launch a boxing career.
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As well as speaking to Ferdinand, SSN also understands United are keen on RB Leipzig's head of recruitment Paul Mitchell, who previously worked for Southampton and Tottenham.
Sky Sports' Premier League games this weekend...
After their European exploits, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal are back in Premier League action next weekend, live on Sky Sports.
Here's what is coming up on Sky Sports Premier League...
- Everton vs Burnley: Live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event Saturday from 7pm; Kick-off is 8pm
- Bournemouth vs Tottenham Hotspur: Live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event Saturday from 12pm. Kick-off is 12.30pm
- Newcastle vs Liverpool: Live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm and Main Event Saturday from 7.30pm. Kick-off is 7.45pm
- Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United: Live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm and Main Event Sunday from 1.30pm. Kick-off is 12.30pm.
- Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event Sunday from 4.15pm. Kick-off is 4.30pm.
- Manchester City vs Leicester City : Live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event Monday from 7pm. Kick-off is 8pm.