Sunderland have confirmed the appointment of Lee Congerton as the club's sporting director.
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti could be tempted to try and sign Juventus star Paul Pogba.
Ferdinand, who has spent over a decade at United under Sir Alex Ferguson, has not yet agreed an extension on his current deal that runs out this summer.
And the 34-year-old, who won his sixth Premier League title this season, announced on Wednesday he was retiring from England duty in order to concentrate on club matters.
And United boss Ferguson said: "I think it is something he could have done last year.
"Ending his international career will definitely help him, as it did with Paul Scholes, and hopefully Manchester United will get the benefit of that."