Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to step down at the end of next season.

The Mail on Sunday says Ferguson will step down as Manchester United manager in two years after building his final great team at Old Trafford around the talents of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

Friends of the United manager, who remarkably begins his 28th season in charge of the club with a Premier League opener against Everton tomorrow night, are aware that he is now beginning the countdown to his retirement in earnest.

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