Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel believes David Moyes is an ideal candidate to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of the season.

The iconic United boss announced his decision to step away from management and move into a director's role earlier this morning, leading to a number of names being linked with what many would consider to be the hardest job in football.

Moyes, who was touted as an early favourite for the role, embodies similar traits to Ferguson according to former goalkeeper Schmeichel who insists the Everton boss can instil stability within the club as Ferguson has done so successfully over the years.

Peter Schmeichel
Schmeichel believes Moyes is the man to replace Ferguson. (Reuters)

"What we are looking for isn't someone who can come in for ten months or three years," Schmeichel told Sky Sports News.

"We're looking for someone who can stay and produce the same kind of stability as Sir Alex Ferguson has done."

While the likes of Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp have been linked with the role, early indications suggest Moyes may be the one to take over. After 11 years at the helm of Everton, Schmeichel believes the Scot has shown all the qualities required for such a demanding role.

"David Moyes has been at Everton for more than a decade on limited funds and he's been doing a fantastic job," the former United goalkeeper added.

"He's Scottish, he's made from the same cloth as Sir Alex and he's the kind of guy you look at and you think, 'stability.' Beyond anything else that's the most important thing for Manchester United.

"You can look at Moyes and say, 'this guy knows how to stay in a job for more than three years."

Following Wednesday morning's announcement, Ferguson has been inundated with praise and messages of thanks from former players, fellow staff, outgoing chief executive David Gill and from all sections of the footballing universe.

Like many, Schmeichel admits that the idea of the man synonymous with Manchester United football club stepping down as manager is hard to swallow. The former Denmark international is regarded by many as Ferguson's greatest ever signing, having brought the legendary Dane to the club in 1991 for a paltry £550,000, and believes his former manager could have carried on for another couple of years.

"I'm really disappointed and sad. I was really, really hoping Sir Alex was going to stay on for another couple of years," he continued.

"I see and speak to him regularly and he is fit, he's not a 71-year-old man. So I don't know what to make of it.

"Yesterday I was really pleased with what we've done this season, taking the Premier League trophy back to Old Trafford, taking it home, as we like to call it. And now this."