With two more games left in the 2018-19 campaign, the Red Devils are five points behind third-placed Tottenham Hotspur, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and a point behind Arsenal, and their chances of beating any of the three to the remaining two Champions League spot are as slim as they come.
United weren’t even in the top-four picture when Jose Mourinho left in December, though, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves accolades for leading the side to 10 league wins and just two draws in his first 12 top-flight games in charge.
However, the recent struggles of the Old Trafford side have got many believing that appointing the Norwegian and former club striker on a permanent basis was a sentimental move by the club.
It is too early to start judging Solskjaer, but it seems United are ready to make another sentimental appointment again in their search for a sporting director.
As reported by Sportmail, the side’s former centre-back Rio Ferdinand has already met with vice-chairman Ed Woodward and is in the frame for the job.
United owners the Glazer family are also keen on having the legendary defender back at the club, and while his history with the Red Devils, his business experience managing his clothing company and restaurant and punditry skills should all come handy, his lack of experience in dealing with transfers could make appointing him backfire spectacularly.
Going for a candidate that knows how transfers and the transfer market work seems a more logical idea.
United have spent a lot of money in the transfer markets since Sir Alex Ferguson left but have struggled to challenge for the major trophies, and they can’t afford to keep getting it wrong on that front going forward.
Ferdinand could come in and hit the ground running, though, but there is no guarantee that he will be a success in the longterm as United’s sporting director, and it makes more sense to get someone that already knows how things work than getting someone who still has a lot to learn.
Another sentimental appointment in such a crucial role won’t do United any good.