Rio Ferdinand has named four players he believes deserves to win the Player of the Year award this season, after ruling out Virgil van Dijk.

The Manchester United legend says Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane have been Liverpool's best players this campaign, and should therefore be in the running.

Beyond Merseyside, Ferdinand reckons Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne should be in with a shout of the top prize. And finally, the ex-United defender has named Leicester City marksman Jamie Vardy as a possible candidate.

Speaking at BT's launch of its new, five-year 4-3-3 partnership with the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh FAs, Ferdinand said: "I think Jordan Henderson has been very good.

Rio Ferdinand has named four players he believes deserves to win the Player of the Year award this season

"I think Mane has been my favourite player when I watch Liverpool if I'm honest.

"When I watch Liverpool he's the person who gets me off my seat more than anyone. He'd definitely be up there.

"Vardy's been good, scoring those goals. Kevin De Bruyne - when you watch him he just purrs. So there's a few names there."

Van Dijk won the award last season, and was one of the favourites to win the Ballon d'Or, but missed out to Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

On whether he should win it again this year, Ferdinand added: "I think he [Van Dijk] is undoubtedly the best defender in the world, the best centre-back in the world now."

Ferdinand spoke out about Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson

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"He'd get my vote for best defender, best centre-half, but he wouldn't get my vote for Player of the Year. I think there's a few other people probably vying for that accolade.

"But he has been tremendous. I think he's a fantastic footballer. Calm, cool, collected, strong, quick. All the attributes you'd want in a modern day player.

"And he carries himself very well - I love the way he carries himself."