Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United have the best chance of returning to the Champions League by focusing all their energies on winning the Europa League.
Jose Mourinho’s side are through to the last quarter-finals of the competition and face Anderlecht in the last eight.
With the club currently fifth in the Premier League table, however, Ferguson believes the club are better positioned to challenge for a return to Europe’s top table by winning the Europa League.
“The season is still alive,” Ferguson told Ferguson told Sirius XM FC, the US radio channel.
“They’ve won the League Cup and are in the Europa League and I think they’ve got a great chance there.
“It’s very important now because if you win it, you’re into the Champions League.
Speaking about the race to finish in the top four, Ferguson continued: “At the moment the Premier League is a real fight for the positions behind Chelsea with Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool, ourselves.”
“It’s not going to be easy to get into the top four.
“They could do it but I look on the Europa League as a great chance. First of all, the club has never won the Europa League. It adds to the CV so I think we’ve got a good opportunity.”
Ferguson believes winning the EFL Cup against Southampton last month was a significant moment in Jose Mourinho’s reign and says it was important for him to get that first trophy under his belt.
“Winning a trophy at United is the most important thing,” he said. “That’s what the club’s history is about – winning trophies.
Which team is most likely to miss out on a Champions League spot?
“I looked upon the League Cup as the manager [Mourinho] does: this is an important trophy. I was fortunate to win it four times. It doesn’t matter what the trophy is, if you get to a final you want to win it.”