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.

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.

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.

Turned inside out: Torres subjected Ferdinand to a torrid afternoon at Anfield

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.

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.

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.

Ferdinand, 31 next week, has three-and-half years left on his United contract and earns in the region of £130,000-a-week.

On the defensive: Redknapp has suffered injuries to his centre halves this year

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.

Much will depend on how Ferdinand plays for the rest of the season and how Ferguson views his progress and his approach.

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.

Ferguson is monitoring the progress of Rodwell and has asked close associates for reports on the teenager's personality and potential.

Rodwell, who signed a five-year deal at Goodison Park in February, is also being tracked by Chelsea and Liverpool.

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.

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.

Earmarked for greatness: Rodwell is being watched by a host of top clubs

Outgoing: Evans

Meanwhile, United defender Evans, 21, has revealed he needs to push himself more in order to improve.

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.

'Last year, because it was my first real season in the team, I stuck to the defending side of things.

'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.

'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.'

 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