West Ham are seriously interested in bringing Rio Ferdinand back to Upton Park, but the clubs former centre half may prove far too expensive, according to ESPN's West Ham sources.
Ferdinand, 33, made his Premier League debut for the Hammers in 1996 and may be available on the transfer market if United fail to renew his contract.
Due to the defender's age, United will offer only a one-year new contract, most likely his last at Old Trafford.
But Ferdinand might opt to take it, before considering offers in the States, Russia and China, but his spiritual home back in east London might also have its appeal.
However a West Ham source told ESPN on Friday: "He might be too expensive, but who knows?"
It is believed Ferdinand may want to finish his career where it all began and West Ham manager Allardyce said the club could make a play for the defender if he becomes available next summer.
"I think it's highly unlikely that we would consider Rio Ferdinand at the moment," Allardyce said. "But if it's at the end of the season and he hasn't got a new contract and he is going to leave Manchester United then we would be interested if we can sustain our Premier League status. It depends entirely on Rio.
"The chairman likes to think big and it's nice to have a chairman who thinks big. Everything has to be in place. If Rio wants to come back, the financial package and so on and so forth and whether they want to release him or not.
"If he wants to live back in London eventually, which is where he comes from, which is what quite a few players like to do before the end of their careers then that might be an advantage for us."
The Hammers' top earner is Andy Carroll, who earns £80,000 a week after the club made an exception for him to match his wages at Anfield. Ferdinand's current wage at Old Trafford is £135,000 a week.
He will want to keep that level of salary, but West Ham cannot possibly accomodate such high earners, so the only possibility is if Rio took a pay cut.