Eric Cantona believes Manchester United will be making a mistake in appointing Jose Mourinho as manager at Old Trafford.
Mourinho’s appointment following the sacking of Louis van Gaal is expected to be announced this week, and the former Chelsea boss has a host of problems to solve at United.
But Red Devils legend Cantona – who turns 50 today – questions whether the ‘Special One’ is suitable for the role, and insists incoming Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola would have been a more natural fit.
“I love José Mourinho, but in terms of the type of football he plays I don’t think he is Manchester United,” he told The Guardian.
“I love his personality, I love the passion he has for the game, his humour. He is very intelligent, he demands 100% of his players. And of course he wins things.
“But I don’t think it’s the type of football that the fans of Manchester United will love, even if they win. He can win with Manchester United. But do they expect that type of football, even if they win? I don’t think so.
“Guardiola was the one to take. He is the spiritual son of Johan Cruyff. I would have loved to have seen Guardiola in Manchester [United]. He is the only one to change Manchester. He is in Manchester, but at the wrong one.”
Cantona, whose arrival from Leeds United in 1992 was the catalyst for Sir Alex Ferguson’s dynasty, then admitted he would take over as manager if approach, and he believes he would be a perfect choice.
“I do many things and I’m very happy. But if they asked me to become the manager of Manchester United, I would. Because Guardiola is in Manchester City and they want someone to win things with wonderful football? It’s me,” he said.
“I’m serious. I say that just because it’s like when you are in the pub or the club. When you say you don’t care, all the girls want you. Maybe if I say I don’t care about that job, they will ask me. If they asked me, I’d work very hard, of course.
“They miss me. I think they have lost something. You can feel it. But it’s difficult to come after someone who has been at the club 25 years. Even if you are a great manager, the fans still feel the philosophy of Ferguson.”