Sam Allardyce rules out January swoop for old boy

Rio Ferdinand, Manchester UnitedSam Allardyce admits it’s ‘highly unlikely’ that West Ham will attempt to bring Rio Ferdinand back to Upton Park in January, the Mirror reports.

The Manchester United defender has looked a shadow of his former self this season and has been linked with a shock return to the Hammers, 12 years after leaving to sign for Leeds.

A new year swoop has been ruled out by Allardyce but hinted that he could make an approach next summer when Ferdinand will be a free agent, provided he hasn’t signed a new deal at Old Trafford.

“I think it’s highly unlikely that we would consider Rio Ferdinand at the moment,” he said.

“But if it’s at the end of the season and he hasn’t got a new contract and he is going to leave Manchester United then we would be interested if we can sustain our Premier League status. It depends entirely on Rio.

“The chairman likes to think big and it’s nice to have a chairman who thinks big.”

West Ham will face competition for Ferdinand’s signature with Major League Soccer clubs Chicago Fire andNew York Red Bulls reportedly keen on the 34-year-old England international.