It was bound to happen.
Following a 26-year stretch during which he managed Manchester United to unprecedented levels of success, Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to retire at the end of the season (per The Guardian's Jamie Jackson).
The decision of Ferguson, affectionately known as Fergie, to retire is one that came in a bizarre turn of events.
Late last night, rumors (via The Daily Telegraph) started to circulate across the internet indicating the 71-year-old manager was going to retire.
There were circumstances leading up to the final decision that obviously suggested he was going to leave.
Ferguson's body was deteriorating. He was going to have hip replacement surgery this summer and already had a fitted pacemaker. David Gill, the chief executive of Manchester United and longtime work partner of Ferguson, was going to depart the club at the end of the season.
"We [Manchester United] knew this day would come and we have been preparing for this," Gill said at Wednesday's press conference.
This statement from Gill has been shown in the gestures made by the club to Ferguson's legacy in the last two years.
Retirement for Ferguson was a rumor that lingered around the club for years.
He infamously declared his retirement prior to the 2001-02 season before retracting his request in the middle of the campaign.
In the 12 years following Ferguson's original wish of retirement, there was always speculation among the media surrounding when the legendary manager would retire.
However, no one could have projected as recently as yesterday that Ferguson would retire now with just two fixtures left in the season.
In this past Sunday's programme notes, the manager stated he wished to carry on "indefinitely" in his desire to manage Manchester United.
Less than four days after the match, United now need to find a replacement for their manager.
There have been several managers whose names have been rumored to replace Ferguson.
David Moyes, who has spent 11 years as Everton's manager, is the most popular person rumored. Since Ferguson made his announcement, The Daily Telegraph has reported that Moyes would be the replacement for Sir Alex.
All three of these speculated managers have the ability to manage Man United and replicate Ferguson's success. With United's facilities, along with their numerous sponsors, they are in a position to dominate Europe for years to come.
Additionally, Ferguson has developed a talented squad that will make United not only one of the top clubs in England for years to come, but also a perennial Champions League contender.
Although the next manager will not achieve the same level of success as Ferguson, it is important to note that no one could properly replace a manager with the Scotsman's abilities.
The new boss at Old Trafford will be one who will have a reachable pathway to success.
And in all probability, this pathway will be followed correctly thanks to the efforts of his predecessor.