EXCLUSIVE: Spurs in summer swoop for under-fire United defender Rio

30 October 2009 01:52
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is planning a summer raid for troubled Rio Ferdinand, who has endured a torrid two months for club and country. [LNB]The Manchester United defender could even be left out of the team against Blackburntomorrow after being given the run-around by Fernando Torres in last Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Liverpool.[LNB]Sportsmail can reveal that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is already targetingEverton's 18-year-old utility player Jack Rodwell as one for the future. [LNB] Turned inside out: Torres subjected Ferdinand to a torrid afternoon at Anfield[LNB]And with Northern Irish defender Jonny Evans knocking on the door of the Old Trafford first team, Ferdinand's long-term standing at United is in question for the first time since he joined them seven years ago.[LNB]It is understood that Spurs boss Redknapp is already monitoring the situation closely and will try to find a way to take Ferdinand to London next summer if he is given encouragement by his friend Ferguson. [LNB]Spurs, in the process of finding money to build a new stadium, would probably have tofinish in the Champions League places to have any chance of funding what would be a sensational transfer. [LNB]Ferdinand, 31 next week, has three-and-half years left on his United contract and earns in the region of £130,000-a-week.[LNB]On the defensive: Redknapp has suffered injuries to his centre halves this year[LNB]Redknapp, who continues to be plagued by injuries to defenders Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate, has a close bond with Ferdinand since their days together at West Ham and privately feels his former player may be tempted by a new challenge and a move back to his native London.[LNB]Much will depend on how Ferdinand plays for the rest of the season and how Ferguson views his progress and his approach. [LNB]It is understood the United manager has been less than impressed this season with the player he bought from Leeds for £30million in 2002 and he has been known to jettison star names when he feels they have gone past their peak. [LNB]Ferguson is monitoring the progress of Rodwell and has asked close associates for reports on the teenager's personality and potential.[LNB]Rodwell, who signed a five-year deal at Goodison Park in February, is also being tracked by Chelsea and Liverpool. [LNB]He has made his name as a defensive midfield player, but it is thought he has thepotential to develop into a classy central defender in the future.[LNB]Any move by Ferguson for Rodwell would be hugely controversial, given the furore that surrounded Wayne Rooney's switch from Everton to United in 2004. [LNB] Earmarked for greatness: Rodwell is being watched by a host of top clubs[LNB]Outgoing: Evans[LNB]Meanwhile, United defender Evans, 21, has revealed he needs to push himself more in order to improve.[LNB]He said: 'I had a decent season last year but I was playing within myself a bit. I've got to learn how to express myself a bit more on the pitch.[LNB]'Last year, because it was my first real season in the team, I stuck to the defending side of things. [LNB]'This year I need to try and get on the ball more. Last year it was a conscious decision to play it safe and make sure I wasn't at fault for any goals and just generally concentrate on defending.[LNB]'I'm not saying I'll be trying to dribble all the way through the opposition from now on, just that I need to be a bit more outgoing and more commanding.'[LNB] Don't give up day job, Rio: Ferdinand has to forget red carpet and fix his formFerdinand will put fears into Fabio: Rio's mental lapses proving costlyEverton No 1 Howard lauds future 'superstar' team-mate Rodwell Ten things you need to know about Jack RodwellEVERTON FC

Source: Daily_Mail