Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is the preferred choice of Manchester United to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson.
United vice-chairman Ed Woodward revealed on Tuesday that the club is preparing for the day when the legendary Scot finally hangs up his hairdryer.
"We have a view as to what type of manager we want and how and when we'll go about it. But it's in the drawer and long may it stay in the drawer," Woodward said.
It was reported in the Spanish press in the summer that Ferguson had met Guardiola in New York.
ESPN reported that chief executive David Gill and a member of the Glazer family also met the former Barcelona manager, who left his role at the Camp Nou after four successful years, at that time.
While a United source said that the meeting was "informal", the future is understood to have been discussed, the report added.
Guardiola is known to view United as a particularly attractive proposition, although he retains interest in Chelsea, AC Milan and Bayern Munich.
In his entire Barcelona career as both a player and manager, Guardiola - who, as a player, was targeted by Ferguson but ultimately signed for Brescia - faced United more than any other English side.
Fergie who will be 71 on New Year's Eve has avoided succession talk saying earlier this year: "I don't think another two or three years would harm me. Never discussed it - it is a dangerous game."
The Scot was last expected to retire in 2002, only to perform a U-turn, expressing his dismay that the club had lined up Sven Goran-Eriksson.
Now he is determined to anoint someone who would continue his legacy though his date of retirement remains undetermined and is almost a taboo subject.