Federer and Nadal have dominated the sport for over a decade but Carreno thinks their time will soon be up.
The world No 19 is confident that once they hang up their rackets he will be able to challenge towards the top of the rankings.
The furthest Carreno has ever progressed in a Grand Slam is the French Open quarter-final last year.
Ahead of the clay court season, the 26-year-old is hoping to build up some momentum with success at the Miami Open, where he has been handed a first-round bye.
But Carreno has his eyes set further on down the line to the day that Federer and Nadal call time on their careers, if they ever do, he joked.
“It seems that they will never retire,” Carreno told Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.
“But I suppose there will be a day when they will have to stop playing and I will take advantage of those moments to be there
“That step from one generation to another to continue advancing positions.”
Carreno then explained how he hopes to break back into the top 10 this season
“Go back to at least the top 10, and from there dream big,” he added.
“Being among the top five, and then you will see when they start to retire Federer, Nadal, and these players who are older than me.
“We will see if the new generation that comes below, the Zverev, Shapovalov and Chung take over or give a little time so that players like me can continue climbing positions.”