Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped Ryan Giggs to be the next Manchester United manager.
Fergie is reported to have talked up the management potential of the veteran Wales winger in conversation with fellow bosses at a private function recently.
The 70-year-old Old Trafford gaffer is understood to have argued that Giggs' lack of experience is outweighed by other qualities that would make him a perfect candidate when Sir Alex finally loosens his grip on the United hotseat.
Ferguson’s campaigning on behalf of his most long-standing player further muddies the waters on the likely date of his own retirement.
For his part, Giggs is seemingly committed to playing on into the twilight. Last week the Welshman, who is reportedly pursuing his coaching badges, signed a one-year extension to his contract at Manchester United, which will see him in harness until he is at least 39.
But fellow golden oldie Paul Scholes has already raised his banner in support of the Giggs candidacy.
The midfielder told FourFourTwo magazine: “People have talked about Mourinho. It can change quickly ... it’s about who is successful at the time. Whether they are British or foreign, you just want the best man for the job. I could see Ryan Giggs becoming manager.”
Earlier this season Ferguson had indicated that he would do three more terms as manager, health permitting, so there's no obvious rush for Giggs to get his certificates.
But it's clearly in the winger's long-term plans, and a potential scenario that saw Fergie guiding his own chosen novice from the stands ticks all sorts of boxes.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph this week, Giggs said: “Everyone who has played and managed would say that playing is much, much easier. Players come in to train at nine o’clock and they are at home by at half twelve. Managers spend their time worrying about the team, so it is a completely different job and situation.
“Succeeding Gary [Speed, for the Wales job] was never really an option for me though. I spoke to the gaffer and United were ready to offer me a new deal. I wanted to play on.
"It [retirement from playing] is just a decision I will have to take my time with because I feel different after each game.”
In other words, it's hard to say goodbye - a problem Fergie knows all too well.