For all the talk of Jose Mourinho who feels it is his destiny to one day succeed Sir Alex Ferguson the burgeoning CV of one of their own won't have failed to capture the attention of United's kingmakers.
Laurent Blanc was one of Ferguson's more qustionable transfers when hastily ushered in at the expense of Jaap Stam in 2001.
Then aged 35, it was too much to ask him to fill the Dutchman's sizeable shoes in the heart of United's defence but there is a growing belief he could enjoy a much more successful spell in what will be the hottest seat in world football when the time comes to find Ferguson's successor.
The United manager believed Blanc was too young to succeed the hapless Raymond Domenech as France coach after the World Cup, fearing he would suffer the same fate as Glenn Hoddle and Steve McClaren in having hisreputation sullied while his career is still in its infancy.
But should Blanc weather the muck and bullets of a job that makes the England post look like Lads and Dads in comparison, it could turn out to be ideal grounding for the pressures that would come his way at Old Trafford.
From player revolts at the World Cup, to the government inquest that followed and the suspension of the country's top players for the start of his Euro 2012 campaign, the France job isn't so much a football managerial post as a gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
It is hard to imagine what he could face at Old Trafford that would trump his opening weeks in the national job.
Tonight he pits his wits against Fabio Capello as France take on England at Wembley in his latest audition for the role that everyone wants.
Blanc has made little secret of the fact that he can see himself returning to the club where he spent his final two years as a player.
And he sees his strong relationship with Ferguson as a clear leg-up in his hopes to one day manage United.
Sir Alex is the cornerstone of Manchester United, said Blanc. He personifies Manchester's project, he's got this passion.
It would be a very interesting, although a very tough challenge, but maybe interesting if he is the one starting it (the search for his successor). With me or someone else, but I could be interested.
It would please me a lot. But it would be tough to find a successor to Sir Alex. He has done it for 24 years and it will not be easy.
Ferguson refuses to set a date for his retirement. But he will turn 69 next month, which only underline the fact that he cannot go on forever.
As much as he insists he would not interfere with the man who succeeds him, he will have a massive say on whoever takes over his empire.
As such, his relationship with that person will be key.
For instance, it is impossible to imagine Rafa Benitez ever getting a call from chief executive, David Gill, even if the former Liverpool manager won the Champions League every year from now until Ferguson eventually retires.
Likewise, the suggestion of Sven-Goran Eriksson getting the job in 2001 will have played its part in prompting the Scot to scrap plans to walk away from the game when previously he had been so determined to do so.
His friendship with Mourinho has always been an indicator that he would be happy to see the Special One carry on his good work.
Mourinho has shown he has the temperament and sheer bloody-mindedness to cope with the biggest jobs from Chelsea to Inter Milan.
And should the Portuguese come through his latest challenge at Real Madrid unscathed then Old Trafford would be the only place left for him to conquer.
But Ferguson also has enormous respect for Blanc, who knows all about the traditions and values of the club.
Mourinho's commitment to youth development is seen as the biggest obstacle to him being entrusted with the manager's post.
But Blanc worked closely with Ferguson in his short spell at the club and will have more of an understanding of its demands.
Ferguson spent the best part of 10 years trying to sign the World Cup winner who played for Barcelona, Marseille and Inter in a stellar career.
That he why he was so determined to bring him to the club, even in the twilight of his career.
And after a near disastrous first season, which saw United relinquish a three-year stranglehold on the title, he still handed Blanc another 12 month contract.
He played a part in helping United reclaim the Premier League in his final season, though Ferguson has admitted since that letting Stam go was one of his biggest regrets.
Those two years, however, have embedded Blanc into the fabric of the club. They are why United fans and officials, alike, have kept a close eye on his early steps into the world of management. And why a league and cup double with Bourdeaux in 2009 immediately prompted speculation that he could be a future manager at Old Trafford.
He is not the first ex United player to be earmarked for the job and the fates that befell Bryan Robson, Roy Keane, Mark Hughes and Paul Ince will all serve as sober warnings.
But of all Ferguson's former troops if anyone looks like they have to tools to one day go from apprentice to master, right now, Blanc is that man.
Source: Manchester Evening News