Sir Alex Ferguson will be consulted and having a veto power in selection of David Moyes’s successor at Manchester United, with Carlo Ancelotti leading a three-man shortlist of candidates to become the new manager at Old Trafford.

Various reports in English media has claimed that United are deliberating between Louis van Gaal and Carlo Ancelotti to replace David Moyes after the former Everton manager was sacked in a 7.40am meeting with the club’s chief executive, Ed Woodward. Diego Simeone, the Atlético Madrid coach, is also being considered but United are leaning towards a more experienced candidate and their initial discussions, involving Ferguson, have concluded that the job has come too early for Ryan Giggs, even if he exceeds expectations in his four games as interim manager.

The decision to fire Moyes was taken in a conference call involving Woodward, the Glazers, Ferguson and the club’s other directors on Sunday night, directly after the 2-0 defeat to Everton. Ferguson was asked for his opinion but it was made clear to him that his colleagues had already made up their minds.

Although Ancelotti could yet guide Real – who face Bayern Munich in a Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night – to their 10th European Cup this season, the Italian has struggled to settle at the Bernabéu and has concerns over the security of his position, regardless of whether the Spanish giants win the Champions League in Lisbon next month.

United’s directors have fleetingly discussed Mourinho’s position at Chelsea but are also acutely aware that they would almost certainly be wasting their time trying to extract him from Chelsea and their attentions are on Ancelotti’s position at Real Madrid and Van Gaal’s availability after leading Holland at the World Cup. “There is not a vast pool to choose from,” a high-level source at Old Trafford admitted.

United are aware of Ancelotti’s issues in Spain and while the formerChelsea and AC Milan coach would prove difficult to lure from Real if his employers resist attempts to prise him from his three-year contract, there is a determination at Old Trafford to aim high and land the best possible candidate to succeed Moyes.

While it counts against Van Gaal that he would not be able to start until mid-July, the 62-year-old is still regarded as the leading candidate and has already let it be known he wants the job. However, it is not true that anyone from Old Trafford has already met him.

United now privately accept it was a mistake bringing in someone with Moyes’ inexperience and believe it is mandatory the next manager has worked at the highest level. Simeone’s record this season makes him difficult to ignore, although he is not a frontrunner. Jürgen Klopp has said he does not want to leave Borussia Dortmund and United intend to respect that position. Antonio Conte, the Juventus coach, has been learning English, with a desire to work in the Premier League, but has not featured prominently in United’s discussions so far.

However, despite plethora of names being linked with Old Trafford hot seat, United management is not in hurry to make any appointment and most likely, the decision will be made in either June or July.