Sir Alex Ferguson has hinted that he may stay at Manchester United in some capacity when he retires from management, with speculation starting to grow that he may be in his final years at the club.

Ferguson celebrated 25 years in charge at Old Trafford at the end of last year, and players, managers and the game's legends all hailed the now 70-year-old for his efforts with the side.

When he took over United in 1986, the club was miles away from meeting Liverpool's record 18 Premier League titles. And all these years on, after the Red Devils have overtaken their rivals in domestic trophies, and come close in European ones, Ferguson says he could never really walk away from the team that he has given so much to.

"I will remain active," he told the BBC. "I think there will be a role for me at United after I finish."

Manchester United are hoping to steal top spot in the table in the coming weeks from cross-town rivals Manchester City, and while Ferguson admits he doesn't know how much longer he can hold up in the high pressure job at Old Trafford, he is clear on the fact that he wants to show City that money isn't everything in the title chase.

"I think you always want to go out on a winning note," he said.

"Hopefully we can do that. I don't know how long I can last now but if my health stays up I don't think another two or three years would harm me."

While Jose Mourinho was widely touted to be favourite to replace Ferguson when he retires from the post at United, Paul Scholes revealed last week that he hoped Ryan Giggs might step up and take on the role.

"People have talked about Mourinho," he said.

"It can change quickly - it's about who is successful at the time. Whether they are British or foreign, you just want the best man for the job.

"I could see Ryan Giggs becoming manager."

Whoever does take over the role from Ferguson will have to deal with filling some pretty massive shoes, and Mourinho is thought to be the most capable of dealing with the pressure, after being at Real Madrid where his future is constantly speculated despite keeping the side within reaching distance, and currently being ahead of, the iconic Barcelona.