Paul Scholes is certain to be at Manchester United next season, Sir Alex Ferguson has said - even if the manager is not sure whether that will be as a player or a coach.
Scholes, 38, is out of contract in the summer and is expected to retire as a player for a second time after failing to make a league appearance in an injury-hit 2013.
The midfielder, who spent six months as a reserve-team coach before returning to the first team in January 2012, will revert to a role on the backroom staff if he decides to call time on his playing career.
Ferguson stressed that Scholes, behind only Ryan Giggs and Sir Bobby Charlton in United's all-time appearances list, is yet to say whether he will be in the squad again next season.
But he said: "He'll be here anyway - whether as a player or coach. We'll have to wait and see with Scholes."
Scholes was a notable absentee when the other United players celebrated their title win on the Old Trafford pitch after Monday's 3-0 win over Aston Villa, but Ferguson played down the significance of that.
He told the club's official website: "I don't think he came onto the pitch, but he's not that type. He was probably home by the time the game ended."
Scholes was in superb form in the second half of last season, and Ferguson is glad he returned to the playing fold, adding: "It would have been easy to say nothing and carry on with the reserves, but he made his mind up he wanted to come back and play - and that was a good thing for us.
"I think there will come a time when he has to quit anyway, whether it's next year or this year. He's not made his mind up about that.
"He has got a lot to offer us, and we do this now - it's a very important part of our club to get players who have made a great contribution."
The United manager reiterated his wish for two more of his current playing squad to become members of the club's coaching team.
He added: "Nicky Butt is with the reserves; Darren Fletcher, when his time comes, will join. Ryan Giggs will join. [Then there are] Brian McClair, Tony Whelan, Paul McGuinness, Marek Szmid. We have a lot of former players in positions at the club, which is healthy for us."