Rio Ferdinand linked with sporting director job at Manchester United
Football is an increasingly complex sport
There was once a time in football when things were quite simple. Football clubs had scouts, coaches and managers, who ran the club's footballing operation (and other aspects) almost from head to toe.
Sir Alex Ferguson ruled Manchester United like this during his quarter century at the club, but things have changed since the heyday of the dictatorial manager.
Most elite football clubs have had a technical director/director of football/sporting director in place for a number of years, and now it appears that Ferguson's former club have finally caught on to this new, decade-old trend.
In typical Manchester United fashion, the club has left no stone unturned in their search for the brightest and best people for this role, travelling the length and breadth of this vast world to decipher exactly which one of their former players should be brought back to the club.
We've seen former midfielders Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher linked with the job, but the club now appear to have extended their search to the club's former defenders, which has seen Rio Ferdinand touted as a potential hire.
The legendary centre-back has held talks with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, according to the Daily Mail, who say that Woodward has been impressed with Ferdinand's punditry on BT Sport.
He is also said to be impressed with the former defender's business experience since retiring from football, which includes a clothing company and a restaurant.
The move may be viewed cynically by many who see United's change in structure and search for a sporting director as little more than an attempt to appease fans, before inevitably bringing in what amounts to little more than an ambassador in a technical-sounding role with no power over decisions whatsoever.
Then again, given the vast depth of football knowledge that Woodward can draw on from deep within his mind, we're sure that whatever decision is made will be the best one for the club.