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Rio Ferdinand on the Man United players who tapped him up while on England duty

“That’s how it works.”

Rio Ferdinand expects plenty of discussion in the England camp regarding the potential transfers of Harry Kane, Declan Rice and Jack Grealish this summer.

Ferdinand insists the tapping-up of players takes place during every international break and the former England defender believes that club managers often encourage players to speak to targets while on national team duty.

Ferdinand recalled how Nicky Butt and David Beckham approached him at the 2002 World Cup to gauge his interest in joining Manchester United from Leeds.

Ferdinand found himself the subject of interest from a number of clubs but once he became aware of the possibility of moving to Old Trafford, he quickly agreed to the deal.

“Yeah that happens. That happened when I went to the World Cup with Nicky Butt, Becks in the United team. Talked about me coming to United,” Ferdinand told The Mirror.


Rio Ferdinand on tapping up

“That was speculation in the paper. That happens, every tournament, every get together. Players talking to players. I’m sure managers have said ‘speak to him for me and find out what he’s like’.

“Butt just said to me ‘would you come United?’. And I said ‘yeah I would. I want to win trophies’.

“That probably filtered back to the manager, they know if they want to make a bid or not. That’s how it works.

“All players are like fans. If you were in a squad with a player who you think is brilliant and you want him to come to your club you’d be saying ‘come on, mate. Come to us. Get on to your club and your agent and try to manoeuvre a move to get to us’.

“We are just an extension of the fans. And what happens is players will go back and report to their coaches – ‘by the way the best player was so and so’.

“That filters back to all the clubs and the managers become more aware and what’s going on.”

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