Fergie quashes retirement talk

Sir Alex
Sir Alex Ferguson is in his 27th year as Manchester United manager. Photo: PA

Sir Alex Ferguson has stated there is no likelihood of an imminent managerial vacancy at Manchester United.

With Pep Guardiola due to end his post-Barcelona sabbatical next summer, Jose Mourinho tipped to leave Real Madrid and David Moyes' Everton contract ready to expire, three of the major candidates to replace Ferguson could be available at the end of the season.

It has led to suggestions Ferguson, who celebrated his 71st birthday yesterday, will call time on his United career, which now extends beyond 26 years.

The Scot accepts all three men are at the top of their profession.

However, in an interview with the Abu Dhabi Sports channel, Ferguson makes it clear he is going nowhere.

"I'm hoping to stay on for a bit of time," he said.

It is widely accepted few will get to know when Ferguson is ready to call it a day, with chief executive David Gill the man tasked with advising the Glazer family about a replacement.

And, though Guardiola, Mourinho and Moyes are bound to be at the top of the list if they are available, Ferguson highlights the precarious nature of football management and states further consideration is impossible.

"It's very difficult," he said.

"Over the years, names have been bandied about but football is such a precarious industry.

"But you could be talking about one of the potentially exciting young managers in the game, but is he going to be here in two or three years' time? The sack race is horrendous.

"Sometimes a manager can only survive four games if he doesn't win a match.

"Top managers will always been in demand but nobody knows where they are going to be in two or three years' time."