Sir Alex Ferguson is a manager whose achievements at Manchester United cannot be summed up in mere sentences, for the Scotsman's fantastic record and longevity at the top of English football is more deserving of a whole book.
It was reported late last night by The Telegraph that the Manchester United manager is giving serious thought to retirement, and since been confirmed by the club this morning. Which leads to the obvious question of who may take over.
With Pep Guardiola otherwise engaged at Bayern Munich from next season he is off the radar at present, so just which face could we get used to seeing in the Old Trafford dugout from next season if the rumours are true?
Here are the three managers who appear to have the best chance...
The 'Special One' is in a real tricky situation at present at Madrid thanks to a divided dressing room and failing to retain the club's La Liga title. Sir Alex Ferguson is always a man he has admired, and the challenge of succeeding the Scot is one his ego would find difficult to refuse. A return to Chelsea has been mooted, but that could have forced Ferguson's hand to speed up his retirement plans. Few could argue with his track record, a two-time Champions League winner and league champion in four countries, United's chances of success would remain high.
Klopp is European football's golden boy at present, having led Borussia Dortmund to victory over Mourinho's Madrid in the Champions League. The eccentric coach has made Dortmund his masterpiece, on a budget which is dwarfed by rivals Bayern Munich. The Mirror reported last week that Klopp was the choice of United's board, and now we look set to get a chance to see if that report was true after all. He is not thought to be available, but then again the chance to take over from Ferguson will only arrive once in a lifetime.
There is no logical way that David Moyes deserves to be up in the same company as Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp, for he has not won a trophy in his extensive tenure at Everton, nor no experience of Champions League football - save for a failed qualification round. Yet 'floods of bets' were placed on him making the switch over the weekend, hinting that someone somewhere has had a strong tip that the Scotsman will take over from his compatriot.
One extra possibility is that Ryan Giggs will succeed his manager, having spent more than 20 years under his tutelage. Giggs of course has no managerial experience so it would be a bold step, but appointing him as a number two alongside Moyes may be more likely.
image: © Gordon Flood