With veteran Dutch shot-stopper Edwin Van der Sar set to leave Old Trafford this summer and hang up his gloves, the Manchester United manager does not want to repeat the same mistakes he made when Peter Schmeichel left in 1999.
Ferguson admitted he never properly replaced the great Dane until the arrival of Van der Sar in 2005 and knows he must act quickly to bring in a competent replacement.
No 1 choice: Sunderland star Craig Gordon is being monitored by Manchester United
And £15million-rated Scotland international Gordon is believed to be high on Ferguson's shortlist of potential signings for next season and has been monitored on several occasions by United officials.
The 28-year-old has 18 months remaining on his existing contract and could potentially leave the Stadium of Light on a free transfer in May 2012, a factor which could force manager Steve Bruce to accept a big offer for the player this summer.
Bowing out: Van der Sar is set to hang up his gloves this summer
Gordon, who became the most expensive British goalkeeper when Sunderland signed him from Hearts in 2007, has been in outstanding form this term producing arguably the best save of the season so far against Bolton last month.
Van der Sar's understudy Tomasz Kuszczak revealed he intends to follow the 40-year-old out of Old Trafford at the end of the season, frustrated by a lack of first team opportunities.
Despite starting the last three games for the title contenders, Kuszczak insists he is good enough to succeed Van der Sar but will quit the club if he is overlooked.
That leaves Ferguson with recent Danish recruit Anders Lindegaard and youth keeper Ben Amos but both would represent a huge risk if asked to become the club's No 1.
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is also understood to be high on Ferguson's wish-list but Bayern Munich are keen on signing the Schalke star.
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Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Tomasz Kuszczak, Steve Bruce, Edwin Van Der Sar, Craig Gordon Places: Germany