Sir Alex Ferguson believes Jose Mourinho would be capable of stepping into his shoes at Manchester United, but stopped short of saying he is the man who should replace him.

Many have long thought that the Portuguese coach would be the perfect candidate to succeed Ferguson when he does leave Old Trafford, with the two men seeming to share many similar traits, in particular a thirst for winning trophies.

When asked if Mourinho could replace him, Ferguson told ITV4: "He can manage anywhere, absolutely."

"I'm not going to put any forecasts on what is going to happen at this club. I won't last forever, but Jose can manage anywhere, there is no question about that."

The Real Madrid boss had little success as a player, but as a coach he has already won 21 trophies from 10 years in the dugout, including last season's La Liga title with a record high points total.

"I would never think a guy who hasn't played a game could be a top coach, but then you've got to look at his personality, I think his personality does it," Ferguson added. "He's got a marvellous, strong personality and I think that bridges that gap.

"That's incredible (his trophy haul). How old is he now? Fiftieth year. So he is 20 years behind me. At the same rate he is going to add another 42 trophies. At the current rate, (that is) amazing isn't it?"

Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to one day return to England - with speculation as to where he could end up surfacing ever since he left Chelsea in 2007 - and told the ITV programme he would love to win the Champions League with an English club.

With his Madrid side still in this year's competition and having won it already at Porto and Inter, Mourinho said: "In my whole career everything was perfect, the only thing I didn't do, and I hope I can do it one day, is to win a Champions League with an English club."

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