Giggs, Scholes and Ferdinand heading for Manchester United exit
Paul Scholes plans to retire once and for all at the end of this season as Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson prepares for another summer shake-up at Old Trafford.
United midfielder Scholes has told friends that he intends to bow out in May and that this time he will not be back.
Ferguson is also facing up to the probability that another veteran, Ryan Giggs, will leave his one and only club this summer, and the manager is aware that defender Rio Ferdinand has yet to indicate publicly whether he wishes to extend his contract.
With captain Nemanja Vidic also struggling of late with knee problems, Ferguson has already started to look at ways of freshening up his squad.
Recently, for example, Ferguson sent scouts to watch £15million-rated Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay play for Portuguese club Benfica in games against Sporting Lisbon and Olhanense.
He has also been looking closely at Molde's Norwegian international centre back Vegard Forren.
Formerly of Real Madrid, Garay has to be sold by Benfica next summer since they are struggling to pay his wages. His former club in Spain are entitled to half of whatever fee he is sold for.
Garay has 11 caps for his country and has also been tracked by Juventus.
As for Scholes, he quit the game at the end of the 2010-11 season but famously returned to United in January of this year.
He was later persuaded by Ferguson to stay on for this season as well and has played 13 times so far.
However, the 38-year-old believes that his influence on the field is waning and has said privately in recent weeks that he may have given as much as he can.
It remains to be seen if Ferguson attempts to persuade one of his most trusted players to soldier on for another season.
Welshman Giggs is a year older than Scholes and is also on a one-year contract. He has played only eight times in the Barclays Premier League this season and has also seen his influence on the field drop off significantly in recent months.
Giggs has not made his own mind up yet but said recently: 'When I do finish playing, I'll try to find the next best thing. Management does interest me. The nearer I get to finishing, the more I think about it. All I can do is prepare myself as best I can for when I do finish.
'I've been doing my coaching courses with Nev (Gary Neville) - levels one, two, A-Licence. We're starting the Pro-Licence next year.'
Giggs hopes to compete in a couple of triathlons and Scholes may be handed a coaching role at Old Trafford.