Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson: I can't predict my successor

Ferguson wants to stay on at Man Utd

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says modern management is so precarious it is "impossible" to predict who could replace him at Old Trafford.

The 71-year-old Scot, who has been in charge at the club for 26 years, plans on staying in the job for another "two or three" years.

And he says it is too early for United to consider a successor yet.

Ferguson said: "There's no-one on the agenda, I can assure you."

"I'm hoping to stay on for a bit of time anyway."

Ferguson could be thinking of Chelsea's decision to sack Roberto di Matteo - only six months after winning the Champions League and FA Cup - when he talks about management being a "precarious industry".

Over Christmas Sean O'Driscoll lost his job at Nottingham Forest within hours of beating promotion rivals Leeds 4-2, and Henning Berg was dismissed only 10 games into his Blackburn reign.

With that in mind Ferguson is refusing to be drawn on candidates to take over his mantle at Old Trafford.

"It's very difficult because over the years names have been bandied about and football is such a precarious industry," he says.

"The sack race, in terms of management, is horrendous. It's a results industry of course, but sometimes a manager can only survive maybe four games if he doesn't win a match.

"You look at certain clubs and that's obvious. So to look two years ahead, it's impossible to say who's even going to be there. It's a difficult one."

There have been plenty of former Manchester United players tipped to eventually take over from the Scot.

Mark Hughes and Roy Keane were both leading candidates before suffering failures at Manchester City and Sunderland respectively.

Current favourites to land the United post include Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and Everton chief David Moyes.

Ferguson said: "There's always going to be names bandied about, no question about that and they're all qualified people but nobody knows where they're going to be in two or three years' time.

"I think top managers will always be in demand: Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, David Moyes, there's a lot of successful managers out there.

"I don't know what their plans are, who knows where we're going to be in two or three years' time?"