here’s a lot of speculation about what’s going on with Britney Spears these days.  But one person who’s got some inside knowledge thinks it’s possible that Britney will never perform again.

Larry Rudolph has been Britney’s manager for 20 years, and he says, quote, “As the person who guides her career . . . from what I have gathered it’s clear to me she should not be going back to do this Vegas residency, not in the near future and possibly never again.”

He adds, quote, “She’s taking time to regroup and get her head together.  She’s putting herself ahead of everyone else, and I’m proud of her for that.  If she never works again, she never works again.”

“If she comes back strong and full of desire and passion and wants to do it, great.  If she takes off six months or six years, it’s totally fine.  To me, it’s about her finding her happy place.”