Fergie at 70: Who can fill the boots of the most successful manager ever
As Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates his 70th birthday he shows no outward sign of being weighed down by the demands of managing Manchester United.
But eventually there has to be a change at the top.
Here, Sportsmail looks at the men who might be in the frame when Ferguson finally vacates the United hot seat.
Master: Sir Alex Ferguson shows no sign of slowing down at Manchester United
The Real Madrid boss is the clear favourite despite his repeated brushes with authority and a lukewarm endorsement from United legend Sir Bobby Charlton. The former Chelsea manager is the one man guaranteed not to be overwhelmed by taking on the challenge of following Ferguson and is open about his desire to take on another job in the Premier League.
Return to England Jose Mourinho wants to manage in the Premier League
A persistent contender, who shares Ferguson”s Scottish working-class roots. Moyes has plenty of admirers at Old Trafford due to the work he has done at Everton and his preference for the passing style United favour. Has no real experience at the very highest level, though.
Time for a big job David Moyes has continually impressed at Everton
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER
A host of former United players have been linked with the job in the past yet all have fallen by the wayside. The latest is Solskjaer, who has made a successful start to his managerial career at Molde. He lacks experience, though, and could benefit from Ferguson remaining at the helm for some time yet.
Young gun: Ole Gunnar Solksjaer (left) could be groomed as Fergie”s successor
The Spaniard has an outstanding record at Barcelona, where he has made the most of a group of brilliant players to create possibly the best club side ever. Has never had to build a team from scratch, though, and has never managed in England, yet he is sure to be considered if United thought they could get him.
Held in high esteem: Pep Guardiola has been a phenomenal success at Barcelona
The current France manager had a brief stint with the Red Devils at the end of his career, so knows the club well. Caught the eye as manager of Bordeaux, where he won the French league title, then stabilised a France team that collapsed into chaos at the last World Cup.
French fancy: Laurent Blanc played for United and could return as manager