David Gill, Manchester United’s chief executive, has admitted the club will consult with Sir Alex Ferguson before naming his successor.
Ferguson, who has been in charge at Old Trafford since 1986, has indicated that he will step down from his post in two to three years time.
Gill admits that, when the time comes to name a new manager, Ferguson will advise on his replacement.
“We will address that (Ferguson’s successor) when it comes around, but the club’s owners (the Glazer family), myself and the people involved will obviously get Sir Alex’s views on the subject,” Gill said.
“Somebody who has managed the club for so many years, who knows the club inside out and knows what is required would be invaluable.
“It would be remiss of us not to have a discussion with him, involve him and get his views, so he will be a key part of the process.”
He added: “The owners will expect me to do the work and then they would get involved in the process of choosing the right man, but the board will ultimately make the decision on the new manager.
“It will be a big change and, without putting a deadline on it, that time is getting closer.
“It would be naive to think it won’t be a big change, but we are trying to put things in place that will make it as easy as we can. Alex is aware of that.
“You don’t work here for 20 years without falling in love with the club and he would like to make sure that he does what he can to make sure it is successful after he has gone.”
Ferguson, 66, has won ten Premier League titles during his time at United, making him the most successful manager in the history of the English game.