Concise News reports that United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has discussed the position with Ferdinand, and wants to finalise an appointment before the start of next season.
United want a candidate who understands how the club works, which makes Ferdinand, who spent 12 years as a player at The Theatre Of Dreams, a fine candidate.
The person who fills the newly-created sporting director role is expected to focus on the transfer market, the academy and supporting the management team.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was appointed as United’s permanent manager last month, is willing to work with a sporting director and has been involved in discussions regarding the recruitment.
Conversely, Solskjaer’s predecessor, Jose Mourinho was alleged to be against such an appointment.
During his time as a player with United, Ferdinand made 455 appearances for the club, winning six Premier League titles, the Champions League and two League Cups.
Since retiring four years ago, the 40-year-old has basically worked as a television pundit, and also briefly had plans to launch a boxing career.
As well as speaking to Ferdinand, United are keen on RB Leipzig’s head of recruitment, Paul Mitchell, who previously worked for Southampton and Tottenham, Sky Sports News claims.