QPR said to be contenders for out-of-contract Manchester United star

Queens Park Rangers have emerged as leading contenders to secure Rio Ferdinand's signature, with the defender out of contract at Manchester United.

The 35-year old has struggled to cement a position in the centre of a struggling United side, with injury and the emergence of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans limiting Ferdinand to just 14 Premier League appearances this season.

Although many thought Ferdinand's services to the club would be rewarded with a new contract, following the final day draw with Southampton, it was announced that the former England international would be leaving in the summer; and many clubs are likely to attempt to secure his signature, with his experience and ability still making him a valuable player.

Ferdinand's former sides West Ham United and Leeds United have been rumoured to make contact, although Sky Bet are suggesting that a move to Loftus Road is on the cards, with his former boss Harry Redknapp currently in control of the R's.

Redknapp worked with Ferdinand at the beginning of the defender's career, and this connection - as well as the riches of QPR owner Tony Fernandes - have made the Championship play-off finalists 9/2 to sign him this summer. Whether any deal is reliant on promotion to the Premier League remains to be seen, although dropping down one division - to join a squad full of top-flight players - may not be a problem for Ferdinand in this late stage of his career.

West Ham are 5/1 to secure the Englishman's services, while a move to Major League Soccer remains the favourite option at 4/6 - with no potential club specified.

A move to the USA may appeal to Ferdinand, who has often been in the limelight in his home country. Ferdinand has successfully produced and directed a small number of films, as well as forming a record label and starring in his own television show.

A move to MLS may also appeal to the league's commissioners, who are currently in the process of improving the division by securing the services of well respected international players such as Jermain Defoe, Maurice Edu and Michael Bradley.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch