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Ex-QPR boss Harry Redknapp backs Rio Ferdinand for West Ham managerial job

Redknapp brought Ferdinand to QPR last summer. Photo: PA

Rio Ferdinand has been backed to become the next manager at West Ham by Harry Redknapp, who joked he could also return to the club as director of football.

Slaven Bilic is reported to have been interviewed about the vacancy over the weekend, with the likes of Rafael Benitez, Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti and Unai Emery all said to have been under consideration as co-chairmen

Ferdinand, 36, retired at the end of the season following a spell at QPR, the former Manchester United and England defender now spending more time with his family following the death of his wife to cancer.

Redknapp, who managed West Ham between 1994 and 2001, believes his old club could do worse than look to give their Academy graduate a first step into coaching - with a helping hand from an experienced head if needed.

Redknapp signed Ferdinand for QPR. Credit: PA

In an interview with sports social network site, www.kicca.com, Redknapp said:

"Rio Ferdinand's doing his coaching badges and has got a great football brain. I used to talk to him a lot at QPR, he'd be on the bench and I'd ask his opinion, 'what do you think Rio?', and he always had good ideas and read the game well.

"I am sure he'll come back and get himself into coaching, He needs to do that now, something to really focus his mind on, I think he'll do that and do well."

Redknapp left QPR in February saying he needed a knee operation, but insisted he was not leaving football.

Ferdinand played for West Ham in the late nineties. Credit: PA

The 68-year-old said: "I'd like to see him as manager of West Ham. I'd go with him as director of football, that would be a good partnership. I'd love to see him get the opportunity somewhere, he's young and enthusiastic.

"It wouldn't be that ridiculous for West Ham to appoint Rio. They have got good players and we've seen in the last year or two some young guys given the opportunity to manage and done well, like Gary Monk at Swansea.

"So there's no reason why, if given the opportunity somewhere with the right people around him, Rio couldn't do very well.

"West Ham's a great club with decent players, so it wouldn't be impossible for him to have a crack at something like that."

Gold, though, indicated the club were determined to "bring in an established manager who has been there and done it".