Manning’s future has been in the spotlight since the Broncos went out of the playoffs when they suffered a 24-13 home defeat by the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
The 38-year-old was revealed to have suffered a strained quad muscle in week 14 of the regular season and he looked a light of former days as the Broncos’ season came to a disappointing end.
“I do,” said Elway, not hesitating when asked if he wants Manning to return. “Bottom line is that we want him back.
“It’s going to come down to what he wants. I did have a great conversation with Peyton (on Monday). We talked about the game.
“I said, ‘The last thing we’re going to do at this point in time, having been through what you’ve been through, is talk about your future.’ I told him, ‘Just know how much we want you back, but you need time to get away from this.'”
Manning’s future is further complicated by the departure of Broncos head coach John Fox, who was fired on Monday with Elway saying they had failed to agree on the direction of the franchise.
“I think the main thing between John and I was we disagreed how to get to the next level,” Elway added.
“Because we accomplished so much, four AFC West championships, I think the biggest miss between us was how are we going to take that next step and what it was going to take to get to that next step? That’s where that disagreement came from.”
As for the coaching search, which Elway said Manning might have an influence on, he added: “We’re going to look at everybody. There’s a bunch of quality candidates out there.”