Manchester United veteran Rio Ferdinand has been offered the opportunity to become BT Sport's main football pundit, reports the Daily Mail.

The 34-year-old defender - who will be out of contract at the end of the season - has been identified by the TV network, as the man they want as their leading analyst for the channel's Premier League coverage next season.

Ferdinand is believed to be involved in a number of his own media projects already, with one eye on his career after football. 

But, at present, the Old Trafford star is still a first-choice option for Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson, so it would be a surprise to see the former England international hang up his boots this early.

BT will press ahead for a marquee signing after paying £738million for the rights to 38 Premier League games in each of the next three seasons, and Ferdinand remains their first choice if he decides to retire from Manchester United in the summer.

Former Southampton and Everton striker James Beattie - now player coach at League Two side Accrington Stanley - is also believed to have impressed during pundit screen-tests, but BT ultimately want a bigger name for their coverage of the top-flight.

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