Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to go outside the club for his new No2.

The People says although current No.3 Mike Phelan has sound credentials to step up as Fergie's right-hand man, the United chief has told close friends he needs an assistant with European experience.

He's not ruled out Phelan, academy director Brian McClair or skills coach Rene Mulensteen if he decides to promote from within.

Ex-Liverpool coach Pako Ayesteran, who left Anfield last season after a bust-up with Rafa Benitez, has been mentioned as have Bordeaux boss and former United star Laurent Blanc and ex-Chelsea No.2 Steve Clarke.