Manchester United star Ryan Giggs is set to become the first player to earn his UEFA Pro licence coaching badge while still playing, leading to speculation he could one day replace Sir Alex Ferguson in the Old Trafford hot-seat.
The Daily Mail reports Giggs is close to completing his UEFA coaching badges, and with Pep Guardiola ready to join Bayern Munich in the summer, and the future of Jose Mourinho currently uncertain, the report claims Giggs is emerging as a potential candidate to succeed the Scot at Old Trafford.
The Manchester United winger has completed his UEFA 'A' and 'B' licences, and will work towards achieving his 'Pro' licence while playing next season. The Pro licence is required for any coach aspiring to manage in the top division or a Champions League club.
The ex-Wales international is set to play on past the age of 40 next season, which means he's likely to finish the entire UEFA course before he hangs up his boots.
Giggs must complete 240 hours of learning at the Football Association's recently opened St George's Park, including a three-day stint at a European club, in order to earn the qualification.
A similar report in The Independent claims Giggs will briefly attend Warwick University's Business School to complete a mandatory business case study - the final part of the course - and is expected to finish with the next year.
According to the Daily Mail, Giggs' former United teammates Gary Neville and Paul Ince will do the course at the same time.
But the commitment could result in United being without Giggs for certain matches this season, and the beginning of next, although this has not been confirmed.
The Manchester United man recently revealed he's not focussed on next season, although Ferguson is reportedly confident that he will play on into the 2013/14 campaign.
"I'm not thinking about my contract at the moment," said Giggs. "It is like the previous season, I am quite relaxed about it.
"I am just enjoying my football. There are so many crucial games at the moment I am not too bothered about what is happening next year. I feel good though.
"Obviously the manager knows how to look after me and I try and look after myself as best I can, which you have to at this stage.
"I am not going to play every game but I have to be ready and prepared when called upon."