As Ferguson looks for Scholes' replacement this summer, there are only a few players that are true central midfielders and similar to him in style.
Out of the current players in the United squad, Giggs, Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson and Gibson will be fighting for the two central midfield positions next season. However, none of them bring the technical ability, attacking qualities and defensive tenacity of the Ginger Prince.
Giggs is the only true attacking threat out of the group, but at 37, he only has one or two years of top-flight football left. Although he was great down the stretch alongside Carrick, he clearly does not have the positional sense or awareness of a natural central midfielder.
The rest of the group lack the technique, passing and vision to replace Scholes as United's main dictator and pass-master.
Although some outstanding players have been linked with United, none of them fit the mold of the former England international.
Inter's Wesley Sneijder has emerged as the most likely successor, but he does not even play the same position as Scholes. The Dutchman has developed into a world-class attacking midfielder, playing in the hold as a traditional No. 10.
However, for Inter and his former club Real Madrid, Sneijder has never featured as a true central midfielder. In United's 4-4-2, Ferguson does not play with a diamond formation in the midfield, where a player like Sneijder would be a necessity.
With United's flat midfield four, the manager needs more complete players in the center of the park. Sneijder would be an absolutely fantastic attacking option, but he is not the next Paul Scholes.
Blackpool's Charlie Adam has also been linked with a move to Old Trafford. While the Scotsman has an exceptional range of passing that would suit United's style of attacking play, he lacks the positional awareness and tenacity of the United midfielder.
On the ball, Adam has all the tools to be a good replacement for Scholes. However, off the ball and in defense, the Blackpool captain does not provide the same intensity that Ferguson needs in the heart of midfield.
Unlike the aforementioned players, Modric is a true central midfielder.
Over the past few seasons with Tottenham, his style of play has mirrored that of the Englishman in his prime. Modric comes deep to receive and distribute the ball, infusing tempo and rhythm into the play.
The Croatian has proven to be a threat in the final third with his shooting, especially with his ability to strike with both feet. Although Modric is not a physical presence in the midfield, he closes down opponents and applies high pressure at all times.
Tottenham's midfield maestro has excelled as a central midfielder, and he has all the tools to be a force for the Red Devils. Ferguson should be willing to pay the substantial fee that will be required to land the Croatian because he is the best fit for United.
Although Roma's Daniele De Rossi may be a more defensive player than Scholes or Modric, he too would be an excellent replacement in United's midfield. The Italian is a much more complete player than the two, and has similar technique and skill on the ball.
However, he would not be a successor to Scholes, but more of an all-around presence and possible replacement for Carrick as United's holding midfielder.
Unlike the other options available to Ferguson, the Tottenham midfielder maestro has emerged as a true central midfielder.
Over the past few seasons, Modric has shown why he is the natural replacement for Paul Scholes.