Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed David Moyes was probably Manchester United’s sixth choice to succeed him when he left Old Trafford in 2013.
Ferguson called time on his trophy-laden Manchester United career in 2013, with then-Everton boss Moyes the surprise successor at Old Trafford.
But Moyes’ time at United lasted less than a season, with Ryan Giggs taking charge on a temporary basis before the appointment of Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2014.
Now Ferguson, writing in his new book ‘Leading’, says that he had approached Pep Guardiola the year before he left the club in 2013 – and also had several other candidates in mind when it came to choosing his successor.
“I asked Pep to phone me before he accepted an offer from another club but he didn’t and wound up joining Bayern Munich in July 2013,” wrote Ferguson. “We established that several very desirable candidates were unavailable.
“It became apparent that Jose Mourinho had given his word to Roman Abramovich that he would return to Chelsea and that Carlo Ancelotti would succeed him at Real Madrid. We also knew Jurgen Klopp was happy at Borussia Dortmund and would be signing a new contract. Louis van Gaal had undertaken to lead the Dutch attempt to win the 2014 World Cup.”
And so the club arrived at the name of Moyes.
“He had been consistent in his job at Everton, had a good spell there – 11 years and showed appetite,” wrote Ferguson.
“No one knew apart from the Glazers, David Gill and myself. When we appointed him, the press were enthusiastic for a British manager. Unfortunately, somehow it didn’t work out for David. The process was perfect. It was a good process.”
Ferguson on Van Gaal
Ferguson, meanwhile, has tipped Van Gaal to achieve great things at Old Trafford.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Ferguson said: “Louis has got a great background with Bayern Munich and Barcelona. He’s got the pedigree there’s no doubt about that.
“I love his press conferences. They are brilliant. I can see some of the press guys twitching in their seats as he answers some of the questions.
“He’s got the confidence to deal with that.
“He’s got the experience. He knows how to handle these things.
“It’s going to take time because everyone is different. Taking over from myself it’s going to take time to get his team on the pitch.”