LEGENDARY former Aberdeen manager Sir Alex Ferguson will make a sensational return to Pittodrie to take over as boss this summer - but only if the Dons qualify for the Europa League.
Sir Alex, who is currently manager of Manchester United, will take over from under-fire Dons gaffer Jimmy Calderwood for his final year in football.
When it emerged that Fergie would hang up his teacups at the end of next season, it was assumed that he would finish his managerial days at Old Trafford.
But it has now been revealed that the Knight of the Realm has always planned to return to the club he loves to complete unfinished business and win the only trophy he has never won - the UEFA Cup (now known as the Europa League).
A source close to Sir Alex said: "This would be impossible in England, for if Manchester United finished low enough in the Premier League to qualify for the Europa League, Sir Alex would be sacked immediately.
"But it has been burning away inside him that he has never won the UEFA Cup, and he sees Aberdeen as a perfect way to achieve that dream."
It is believed that the fiery Glasgow-born boss will bring former Dons player and close pal Gordon Strachan in as his assistant.
The flame-haired midfielder, who has previously managed Coventry City, Southampton and Celtic, will be groomed by Sir Fergie to take over the Pittodrie sleeping giant for season 2010/11.
A spokesman for Aberdeen-Mad said: "This story will shake the very foundations under Pittodrie, Aberdeen and the whole of Aberdeenshire - maybe even further.
"A lot of Aberdeen fans would have seen this as impossible, but it's not. It's possible."
It is not known who will replace Sir Alex at Old Trafford, but bookmakers William Hill have made SPL club Aberdeen's manager Jimmy Calderwood early 11/10 favourite after a flurry of bets from the Far East.
Calderwood has been a great success at the Pittodrie club in recent years, taking the club from the lower reaches of the league to challenging for third place every season since he arrived.