Arsenal are surprise candidates to snap up Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand this summer, according to reports from The Mirror.

The 35-year-old former England international looks set to be a free agent in a few months’ time, with the Red Devils unlikely to offer him a new contract before his current deal expires at the end of the season.

Ferdinand was believed to be considering bringing his illustrious career to an end, yet he is now thought to be looking to keep the show running with one last move.

He preferred choice would be to stay at Old Trafford, but with such a situation appearing improbable a host of other clubs are readying moves.

Arsenal are among the candidates, with Arsene Wenger a long-term admirer of Ferdinand.

The Frenchman is attracted to the veteran centre-back’s experience, which he believes could be a major tool for his side next season.

QPR may also make an offer for his signature if they gain promotion to the Premier League through the play-offs, while former club West Ham are considering an emotional swoop to bring back their former youth star.

Meanwhile a number of foreign clubs are also interested, including Galatasaray, Besiktas and MLS giants the LA Galaxy.