Sir Alex Ferguson left plenty of managerial graduates from the players he presided over at Old Trafford, and though the five below may not be the best candidates available, they may have certainly performed more admirably than the derided and recently departed David Moyes.
The Frenchman is perhaps the strongest of Ferguson's former players to have moved into management. Successful spells at Bordeaux and now with PSG have shown that he can operate at the very highest levels of the game. A couple of years in charge of the French national team also helped Blanc refine his top level experience. Nasser al-Khelaifi, PSG's chairman, has said Blanc is happy in Paris and will not be moving despite his contract expiring at the end of next season. There are few jobs bigger than the Qatari owned outfit, but United may just be the top top level club Blanc has been waiting for.
The Hull City manager is in with a shout of winning silverware this year, with an FA Cup Final appearance to come against Arsenal next month, and as one of the Ferguson's most important players in the side's early years, he is someone with plenty of experience of how the Scot navigated early trials to success. Has gotten the Tigers playing some decent football this year, not the first time he has done so with a promoted club, and doing so while getting the best out a British core. If Bruce's side win at Wembley in May, expect the rumours of a switch back to his old club to intensify.
A two time United favourite that dampened his reputation somewhat by taking charge of rivals Manchester City in 2008 for a season and a half. A seasoned Premier League manager, Hughes has made advances with nearly every side he has been in charge of, with a poor nine months at QPR the only real blot on his copybook. Beat United already this year with his Stoke side, and would know exactly what it means to be in charge at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Of the five candidates here, Solskjaer has the most coaching experience at the club, having managed the reserves for 3 years between 2008 and 2011. In his time in charge of the second string the Norwegian won the league title, while working with youngsters still at the club like the Keane twins and Federico Macheda. The unpredictable ownership at Cardiff has made his job a difficult one, but two league titles back in Norway with Molde show that he CAN manage sides to titles.
A no-nonsense speaking former captain that is one of the club's most recent legends has a chequered managerial career. He turned Sunderland from Championship relegation candidates to Premier League promotion in one year, but his time in the Premier League was difficult and he left before the season was finished, and he experienced similarly difficult times with Ipswich. Now assistant to Martin O'Neill with the Republic of Ireland, Keane would have likely had the same kind of authority as Ferguson if he found himself in charge of the Reds, though those at Old Trafford with a penchant for shellfish may have found it hard to accept the feisty Cork man.
Should United pick any of their former players to take over from Moyes?