OK lets assume for the purposes of speculation, that Fergie announces his retirement at the end of the 2009 season.
Between now and then the following hyperthetical issues occur:
Roy Keane continues his march up the Championship and clinches promotion with a win in the play offs.
Next season he takes his squad, strengthened and finishes between 8th and 11th in the Premiership as United continue, amidst intense speculation in the press, to look for Fergie's successor.
Gordon Strachan continues to dominate Scottish football with back to back championships, coupled with 2 FA cups along the way. Rangers continue to dog their heels but cannot catch up.
Mark Hughes maintains Blackburns top half of the Premiership position, finishes the 2009 season in 5th place and win the Carling Cup.
Portsmouth, under the coaching in Joe Jordan, maintain their top 6 places in the Premiership and have also beaten Chelski on the way to finishing 6th in the 2009 Season. Reached QF in both the FA Cup and CC.
OK, I have picked 4 ex United players out at random and played a fantasy league finale to the 2009 season. BUT, if as it was suggested, United stay at home in their quest for Fergie's replacement, these are 4 major contenders.
There is also the option of looking around other clubs but that list is far too long for me to bother about here.
How about Jose?
How about Curbishley?
How about Jewel or Allardyce?