London, May 30 : Sir Alex Ferguson may be prepared to give himself as many as three more seasons at Old Trafford, which may be required to prevent the Scotsman retiring one European title short of Bob Paisley''s record three.
His rebuilding for next season is immediate, with United optimistic that they can wrap up the 14 million pound signature of Ashley Young from Aston Villa by the end of June, fending off Liverpool.
Everton''s Jack Rodwell, who has been on Ferguson''s wanted list for 12 months, is another target as he seeks to reinvigorate the midfield which Barcelona ran rings around.
United''s cash balance is approaching 150 million pounds and the club should have 60 million pounds to spend as it sees fit.
Club CEO David Gill signalled 12 days ago that this would be a "busier than normal" summer.
Goalkeeper David de Gea''s expected 17 million pound move from Atletico Madrid to Old Trafford should also be concluded this week.
Ferguson is understood to have been reflecting as recently as last week on the fact that premature retirement can be fatal for a healthy, active individual and the death of his own father, Alex, is forming an important part of his thinking.
"My father retired on his 65th birthday, and one year later he was dead," Ferguson said last month.
"The worst you can do is put your slippers on. People say things like: ''I''ve worked for 45 years. I have the right to rest.'' Not at all. One has the duty to keep active and in good shape," he said.
According to The Independent, Ferguson clearly feels time is running out on him.
"We really need to progress quickly to get to that level," he said during the closing stages of this year''s Champions League campaign.
He is 70 on New Year''s Eve and with the prospects of surpassing Barcelona within a year looking forlorn, his pursuit of a fourth European Cup for United may require him to be the oldest manager to lift the trophy.