Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is retiring at the end of the season, bringing an end to more than 26 trophy-filled years at the club.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a former United striker who has made an impressive start to his managerial at Norwegian side Molde, are also viewed as contenders.
United regained the Premier League title on Monday after Robin van Persie's first-half hat trick sealed a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
Any professional soccer player who doesn't want to take on Manchester United should change jobs. United manager Alex Ferguson would surely say the same to any player of his who didn't relish the challenge of being part of the team that everyone wants, or should want, to beat.
The forward completed Madrid's comeback in the 69th minute to secure a 3-2 aggregate win after the Spanish champions took advantage of United being reduced to 10 men.
Ryan Giggs signed a 12-month extension to his contract at Manchester United on Friday, taking his Old Trafford career into a 24th year and ensuring the midfielder will continue playing into his 40s.
His move will deprive long-time manager Alex Ferguson of one of his closest confidants at the soccer club, taken over in 2005 by the Glazer family that also own the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Manchester United chief executive David Gill said Wednesday he is to step down in June after a decade at the helm of one of the world's most valuable sporting clubs.
A big reason why Manchester United now have a good chance of knocking Real Madrid out of the Champions League is also a big reason why Alex Ferguson has had so much success in 26 years at the club: because in tight spots, when the need for results is acute, Ferguson has faith in young people.