Man Utd legend Stepney wants Ferguson to carry on into his 70s

Stepney told The Daily Telegraph: “Sir Alex said recently he’d like to give it another two years but I’d like to see him remain in charge for another five years.

“He’s certainly not showing any signs of losing his drive, energy or enthusiasm and the dynamic way his team is playing is a great reflection of him and shows he’s got a massive amount to offer.

“I’ve been delighted Sir Alex has maintained the club’s attacking traditions. That’s what it’s all about. Ultimately, it will be down to him when he steps down but whoever takes over from him will have the hardest job in the world. It was the same when Sir Matt Busby retired.”

Stepney added: “The manager seems to pull rabbits out of the hat. He’s built four teams now and he’s always said the young lads represent a bright future for Manchester United.

“For me, though, the secret of success – to put it in the nutshell – is that he’s so hands-on. He’s in his office at the training ground at seven o’clock every morning checking not on what’s going on in the first team or the reserves but what’s going on at the academy and the scouting situation.” And Stepney has identified Ferguson’s eventual successor.

“I can see Roy (Keane) becoming the next Manchester United manager although he’d need a lot more experience,” Stepney added.

“I’ve been very impressed with the way he’s taken to management. He’s done an absolutely superb job at Sunderland and obviously put to good use lessons learned under two great managers in Sir Alex and Brian Clough.

“Now he’ll have two or three years to prove himself in the Premiership because there is such a gulf in class between the leagues. If things work out well for Roy in the future I’d like to see him take over at United but anyone with an affinity with the club would like to see him as a manager at Old Trafford.”