Manchester United chief executive David Gill has said that Alex Ferguson's deputy at Manchester United, Carlos Queiroz, could take over from him as coach once he stands down.
That possibility came into focus after Ferguson made it clear that he will leave his post within the next three years.
Gill said he that Ferguson had not told him personally of his intentions.
“We haven't discussed that,” Gill told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.
“I think his guiding principle over whether he stays is whether he is healthy and still has the desire, which I'm sure he will have.
“It's still three and a half years away, we will look at it at that time.”
Asked about planning for Ferguson's successor, Gill added: “We are making sure our squad is continually reviewed and improved as necessary and the age of the squad is right so that, when Alex does decide to retire, anyone taking over has a fantastic squad with the right age profile.
“We also have an assistant manager who will be very much in the frame in Carlos Queiroz.
“He's clearly a key part of our success. If you look at what Liverpool achieved in their very successful years during the `70s and `80s (that) was through internal appointments.
“Carlos is a key factor in all the success we've achieved over the last couple of seasons.”
Ferguson has already made it clear trhat he sees the former Real Madrid boss as the man to replace him once he stands down.
“What happens after I go is not my domain. But there is no doubt I think Carlos will be here for a long time. As long as me anyway,” he said recently.
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