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- May 8, 2011
Manchester United want Rio Ferdinand to spearhead Ajax-style coaching revolution at Old Trafford - Mirror Online
Manchester United want Rio Ferdinand back at Old Trafford to help spearhead an Ajax-style coaching revolution, writes Steve Baters in the Sunday People.
Plans are underway for a major shake-up of United’s Acadamy set-up with boss Louis van Gaal at the centre of an initiative to go Dutch with the club’s approach to youth development.
And they would like Ferdinand to re-join the Old Trafford staff once he quits his playing days at QPR in the summer.
They have earmarked a key role for their former star coaching, developing and mentoring both the young defenders coming through the ranks and also stars like Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw.
Ferdinand had a distinguished twelve year career at Old Trafford spanning 455 games during which he won six Premier League titles, a Champions League, an FA Cup and League Cup.
Van Gaal’s assistant Ryan Giggs, a long-standing teammate of Ferdinand’s, believes the club should tap into the defender’s knowledge and recruit him to the staff.
The offer will leave Ferdinand, who has a pundit contract with BT Sport, with a dilemma with the star planning media, business and charity projects when he hangs up his boots.
United’s hierarchy want to go the Ajax route and recruit major former stars to be hands on with emerging young players of the future - just like Dennis Bergkamp is doing for the Dutch side now.
Van Gaal has already said that he sees Michael Carrick - handed a one year contract extension last Friday - as a “trainer-coach” in the current set-up.
And he’s hopeful Carrick may stay on the United staff once his playing days finish.
United are ready to embark on big coaching changes behind the scenes with current Acadamy boss and former striker Brian McClair set to end a 13-year spell with the club in May.
McClair will become Performance Director at the Scottish FA triggering a huge raft of behind the scenes changes to United’s coaching set-up.