Rio Ferdinand claims he's spoken to Man United about sporting director role

Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand is interested in the club's sporting director position but insists he will not lose sleep if snubbed.

Rio Ferdinand claims he has spoken to Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.   -  Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand claims he has spoken to Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about the sporting director position the club is trying to fill.

United has long been keen on a structural change that would see the club hire someone to oversee football operations, allowing Woodward to focus on the commercial side.

Initially the club was thought to be hopeful of making an appointment ahead of the close-season transfer window, allowing the new hire to instigate necessary changes to the playing staff.

Despite plenty of speculation linking people with the role, things have gone cold in recent months and a recent report claimed the club has stalled on hiring someone, with Woodward set to remain in charge of transfers for the time being.

However, former United star Ferdinand has not been shy in declaring his desire for the position and says he has discussed the job with Woodward.

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"I've always spoken to Ed since I left, anyway. I had that type of relationship with him," Ferdinand told BBC Sportsweek.

"I've not seen him at a game, so all the chats I've had with him have been on the phone or I go and see him when I'm in London.

"I'm not the type to dilly-dally around. I've seen the stuff in the papers. 'What's that role about?' I've asked that question – so yes, I have spoken to him.

"I'm very honest and Ed's open and honest with me. Manchester United and the powers that be will decide as and when they are going to put someone into that role.

"If I am the person on that list and the person they are going to talk to, then that time will come.

"It's nice to be on a list in such a responsible role at such a prestigious club. If the call comes I will say, 'thank you very much for that', but if that call doesn't come, I'll not lose sleep over it."