Three potential Rio Ferdinand replacements

Change continues to engulf Manchester United, and with Rio Ferdinand exiting Old Trafford, it's time to take a look at three potential replacements.

Rio Ferdinand's imminent exit from Manchester United continues the theme of change engulfing Old Trafford at present.

And with a potentially huge budget ready for a new manager, it's time to look at three potential replacements for their famous No. 5.

Dejan Lovren

Consistently solid at the back, the 24-year-old helped Southampton finish eighth in the Premier League. The Croatia international was an instrumental figure in helping the Saints concede fewer goals than Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Prising him away from St Mary's may take work - and quite a bit of cash – but he has already proven himself in England. While taking up Ferdinand's honour-laden mantle isn't going to be easy for anybody, Lovren has exhibited exactly the type of boot-filling mindset they need.

Eder Alvarez Balanta

Having attracted admiring glances from several European giants, the 21-year-old Colombia international could find himself with a number of offers this summer. And the youngster is certainly deserving of the pursuit. Following a fine season in the Argentine championship with River Plate, the rising star already has a winner's mentality that United fans want from their players. The Premier League giants could face competition to sign Balanta, but they should at least make an offer

John Stones

The 19-year-old has already shown a maturity beyond his age with some towering performances for Everton. Against Arsenal in a match that the Toffees won 3-0, he was an immovable barrier and kept the Gunners at bay whenever they approached the goal. While the process of transforming the Red Devils back into title challengers might take more than one season, they now have the opportunity to re-build, and Stones has the skillset to quickly become a figurehead under the Stretford End.

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