The odds are now shortening that the fateful moment will come this summer and kick off one of the most intriguing succession races of all time.
Ferguson gave a lecture to the Harvard Business School in Boston while he was in America and name-checked both Guardiola and Mourinho.
"Guardiola is an impressive guy. He's brought about change in Barcelona. It was a fantastic achievement. He elevated the status of his players," claimed Fergie.
"Jose is very intelligent, he has charisma, his players play for him, and he is a good looking guy. I think I have most of those things, too, apart from his good looks."