Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has let slip that Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes has a big chance of succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Whelan, who is set to name Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce as his new manager, revealed: "Whenever I speak with Sir Alex Ferguson - who I regard as 'The Master' - he always says two of the best young bosses around are Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes.

"They played under Fergie at Old Trafford, they always give 100 per cent and, if your head is screwed on like theirs is, you can't help but learn from the great man."