Sir Alex Ferguson will advise Manchester United on who should be his successor, with the Premier League champions saying their next manager must have a proven track record in both league and European football.
• Marcotti: What next for United?
• Brewin: Sudden end to legacy
• Ferguson's highs and lows
• Payne: Fergie and Busby
• Jolly: Fergie a relentless winner
• The search for Sir Alex's heir
• Potential successors gallery
• Ferguson's famous quotes
Chief executive David Gill said the club will consult their outgoing manager, along with director Sir Bobby Charlton, who helped appoint Ferguson in 1986.
But Gill, who will also leave his post at Old Trafford this summer, suggested United have been planning for the 71-year-old's departure.
Ferguson has announced he will retire at the end of the season, although he will become a director and an ambassador for United.
And Gill told MUTV that the Scot's replacement requires "the requisite football experience in terms of domestic and European experience".
It was a hint the early favourite David Moyes, who has never reached the quarter-finals of a European completion at Everton, might not be United's ideal candidate.
Gill also implied United have candidates in mind, adding: "We knew this day would come and we have been preparing for it. The board will take council from Sir Alex and Sir Bobby on the new appointment."
He also dismissed the suggestion that Ferguson's presence at Old Trafford could make it harder for the next manager.
Sir Matt Busby's successors, Wilf McGuinness and Frank O'Farrell, struggled with United's former manager still at the club and offering his input.
Gill added: "Alex will not make that mistake. Of that we can be certain. Everyone can rest assured the new manager will get the necessary space and necessary opportunity to do his job without interference."