Sam Allardyce says West Ham would be interested in signing Rio Ferdinand, should the Manchester United defender become available at the end of the season.
Ferdinand's contract with Manchester United expires in the summer and Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to keep the 33-year-old England international at Old Trafford.
Allardyce, however, has given Ferdinand food for thought by claiming he would enter the race to sign the centre-back if he was to leave Manchester United, with the Hammers boss hoping the chance to return to London will be a lure.
“If it’s at the end of the season and he hasn’t got a new contract and he is released by Manchester United, then we would be interested," Allardyce said, as reported by The Sun.
“If he wants to live back in London eventually, which is where he comes from, which you know quite a few players want to do when they come to the end of their careers, that is an advantage for us.
“It depends entirely on Rio or which other clubs might be interested in him.”
Ferdinand made 157 appearances for West Ham after coming through the club's famed academy as a teenager, before he was sold to Leeds United for £18 million in 2000.
He moved to Manchester United just two years later following an impressive 2002 World Cup for a fee of almost £30 million and has since played 400 games during 11 seasons at Old Trafford.