London, July 25 : manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson will play a major role in choosing the man to succeed him.
Ferguson has always said he would have nothing to do with the process, but chief executive David Gill revealed here that the club's owners, the Glazer family, expect him to play a "key part" when the big day dawns.
According to the Daily Express, the 66-year-old Scot goes into his 23rd season in charge.
United know that the end of Ferguson's all-conquering era is nigh and that they must soon decide who is a worthy successor.
"The owners, myself and other people involved will obviously get his views. It would be remiss of us not to have a discussion with him and to involve him. He will be a key part of the process," said Gill. "The input of somebody who has managed the club for so many years and who knows the club inside out and knows what is required would be invaluable," he added.
Ferguson, who took over in November 1986 and has gone on to plunder 10 league titles, two Champions Leagues and five FA Cups, said last season he would finally retire within three years.