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Rio Ferdinand has spoken out on Manchester United’s futile pursuits of Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane during the summer transfer window.
Jose Mourinho was desperate to bolster his defensive options this summer and Tottenham’s Alderweireld, Maguire of Leicester City and Real Madrid star Varane were all targeted.
Belgium international Alderweireld emerged as Mourinho’s top target at the start of the window but United were unable to strike a deal with Premier League rivals Spurs.
The Red Devils quickly turned their attentions to Maguire but Leicester were under no pressure to sell and slapped a whopping £75million price-tag on the defender’s head.
Mourinho was also reportedly willing to splash £100m to bring Varane to Old Trafford but United chiefs were not convinced and did not make any deadline day signings.
Of all the defenders that were linked with lucrative moves to the Theatre of Dreams, it was Alderweireld who Ferdinand expected to sign for his former club.
‘I was in favour of bringing Toby Alderweireld from Spurs,’ the ex-England international told BT Sport.
‘When playing regularly, I think he’s within the top two or three centre-halfs in the country, in this league.
‘I think he’s a fantastic player, he proved it again at the World Cup after not playing so many games last season.
‘I thought he was a definite [to sign for Manchester United]… he would have been my go-to choice to be honest.’
Maguire was one of the surprise stars of this summer’s World Cup, playing a key role in England’s run to the semi-finals.
But Ferdinand believes the 25-year-old needs to spend one more season at the King Power before sealing a high-profile move to a bigger club.
‘Maguire had a fantastic tournament in Russia,’ Ferdinand said.
‘I just think for his development another season at Leicester, honing his craft within the Premier League, would be best for him from a personal standpoint for him.’
Ferdinand also labelled Varane as ‘one of the best defenders in the world’ and said signing him would have been a huge coup for Mourinho. But the Red Devils legend doubts Real Madrid would have been willing to sell a 25-year-old whose best years are ahead of him.
‘The likes of Varane, who has proved himself to be one of the best defenders on the planet right now, I think he will be too far to go and get him, the amount of money,’ Ferdinand added.
‘I don’t think Real Madrid would sell.’ Despite missing out on a number of transfer targets, Manchester United began the new Premier League season with a 2-1 victory over Leicester at Old Trafford on Friday night.