West Ham United are reportedly planning a shock move to bring Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand back to Upton Park.

A report from the East London and West Essex Guardian series claims the Hammers have been linked with persuading him to return on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Ferdinand has struggled to player regularly for Manchester United in recent seasons because of various injury problems, but he appears to be over those troubles and has been a regular in the Old Trafford starting XI for the last few months.

Sir Alex Ferguson recently admitted he was unaware the former England captain’s deal was finishing next summer, but also hinted that a new deal could be on the table for the centre-back.

It would be a major shock if Ferdinand returned to West Ham in the summer, as he has publicly stated his desire to continue playing at the highest level and Ferguson indicated he thought the former Leeds United man could play one for another few years.

Ferdinand has won every trophy there is to win in club football with Manchester Untied, but there could be a romantic attraction to returning to the place he began his illustrious career and play there before he hangs up his boots.

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