Sir Alex Ferguson is planning to leave Manchester United in two years' time, reports the Daily Mail.

Ferguson begins his 28th season as the Red Devils boss with a trip to Everton on 20 August but for the first time in seven years he enters a campaign without a title to defend. According to the Mail, the United owners backed the £24m deal (£64m including the player's wages for the next four years) to sign Arsenal's Robin van Persie knowing the Scot was trying to build his last big team.

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson is building his last big team as he prepares to step down

"Alex will only be manager for a couple more years so it was time the owners gave him what he wanted. That's van Persie," the report quoted a source close to the Glazers as saying.

United have been strongly linked with one more big-money deal before the transfer window closes as Ferguson continues his chase for Everton left back and long-time target Leighton Baines. After unveiling van Persie, the 70-year-old told reporters he was considering one more acquisition if "a certain player became available" in "one more position".

Carrick Confident of Regaining Title

Meanwhile, Red Devils' midfielder Michael Carrick is confident his club can regain the league title this season. United finished second to cross-town rivals Manchester City on goal difference last term, as a last minute victory for the Sky Blues over QPR on the final day of the campaign left United and their fans devastated.

Michael Carrick
Carrick is confident that United can bounce back to win the league this season

"What happened takes some getting over. It was a huge blow, the way it happened. Nobody could have predicted that and we never thought it was going to happen. But we have to get over it now. We've had setbacks in the past and we have to move on. That's the nature of the club and the manager. He'll be driving us forward to achieve something this season," the Guardian quoted Carrick as saying.

"As a club we do tend to bounce back. If we have a defeat or setback, we tend to come back stronger. We can't forget how close we were. It wasn't a disaster in terms of how the season went because we had a good season. We'll bounce back. We're strong this year and we're hungry, not that we wouldn't have been hungry anyway. It will be a good championship," the England international added.