Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been urged to come out of retirement and manage Australia in next year's World Cup by ex-Red Devils goalkeeper Mark Bosnich.
The Socceroos are currently without a manager after German coach Holger Osieck was sacked on Saturday following back-to-back 6-0 defeats against Brazil and France.
And Bosnich - who played under Ferguson during two spells at United - believes Football Federation Australia should pull out all the stops to convince the 71-year-old to take charge of the side.
"We've been throwing around a lot of names but there's one person that I haven't heard mentioned - even though I've got more reason than anyone not to suggest him," Bosnich, who endured a fractious relationship with Ferguson during his second spell at Old Trafford, told Triple M radio station.
"I'm just being honest and have had experience under him, so know what he's like - it is Sir Alex Ferguson.
"That name hasn't been put about, but we need someone of that ilk.
"He (Ferguson) would command a top whack, but in life, and especially in sport, you get what you pay for. If you want the very best, you're going to have to pay for the best."
Ferguson retired from football management at the end of last season after spending 26 years in charge of United and it is easy to dismiss the idea out of hand but when you think about it – is it really such a ridiculous suggestion?
Here are five reasons why he might be tempted to take the job.
1. Unfinished business: Ferguson managed his native Scotland at the 1986 World Cup following Jock Stein's sudden death, but failed to progress from the group stages. Fergie won everything going as a club manager but might have an itch to prove he can do it on the international stage.
2. It is only a short-term project: Australia have already qualified for Brazil and would be so excited by the prospect of getting Ferguson in that they would surely make allowances for him. If they could move quickly they could still get United assistant René Meulensteen who could hold the fort until next summer. It could end up being a two-month gig for Ferguson which would leave him plenty of time to promote his book/enjoy his horse racing/mow the lawn.
3. ££££££££££ or should that be A$$$$$: It is not like Ferguson is short a few bob as it is, but a little bit extra never goes amiss - and he's proving his appetite to line those pockets with the shamelessly energetic way he's been plugging his upcoming autobiography. Ferguson could make top dollar for a short-term job.
4. An excuse to go to the Melbourne Cup: What better time to start negotiations or ink the deal than at the Melbourne Cup which takes place next month? Fergie is a huge horse racing fan and has already said that attending the 'Race That Stops the Nation' is one of his dreams.
5. The language barrier: Ferguson is not afraid to tackle languages, revealing recently that he, "did four years of German at school and I’ve been studying French for years. I could take on Italian. I already know quite a few sentences." And he could continue those studies Down Under with a summer job in Australia, where the strange dialect spoken by the locals is actually closely-related to his native Glaswegian argot - not that you'd believe it if you heard the two spoken simultaneously, of course. And even if he struggles to grips with the lingo, his infamous 'hairdryer' treatment is a means of communication that goes far beyond conventional language.
Obviously it looks like a massive outside bet, and Ferguson has said he is not interested in returning to management but could Australia tempt him? Would you like to see him at the World Cup? And do you think Australia would be a good fit? Leave your thoughts below.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- Football Federation Australia