Sir Alex Ferguson believes Rio Ferdinand will follow Ryan Giggs in signing another contract extension with Manchester United.
Giggs penned a new one-year deal on Friday, ensuring his United career will extend beyond his 40th birthday.
Ferdinand seems set to do likewise, though 34-year-old has been linked with moves to the United States, China and the Middle East. Ferguson remains confident Ferdinand will stay at Old Trafford next term.
"That is a strong possibility," he said. "It would have to happen before the end of the season."
Ferdinand is managing an ongoing back complaint this season, but Ferguson hinted the defender is set to play a critical role for the team on Tuesday in the second leg of their Champions League tie with Real Madrid.
"I think he has had a great season," said Ferguson. "He has managed himself the right way and we have contributed to that in the preparation we give him.
"He doesn't play every game in the same way that Ryan doesn't play every game. But in terms of key matches he has been absolutely brilliant.
"Two weeks ago, against Real Madrid, he was excellent so we need to get him ready for the big one on Tuesday."