Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is ready to replace Sir Alex Ferguson and become the next manager of Manchester United, according to his former assistant at Chelsea, Steve Clarke.
Mourinho is ranked among the favourites to succeed Ferguson when he finally decides to lower the curtain on his illustrious 26-year Old Trafford career, although the veteran Scot has yet to give a clear indication of when he will step aside.
Ferguson was undone by Mourinho again this week as the Portuguese led Real Madrid to victory over Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League, albeit controversially so, to fuel further speculation the Portuguese could be the man to replace the 71-year-old.
Mourinho's future at Real Madrid is subject to conjecture for months, with reports suggesting this season will be his last at the Santiago Bernabeu, and Manchester United has been touted as a possible destination for the former Chelsea boss.
Clarke, who worked with Mourinho in two successful Premier League campaigns at Stamford Bridge, could envisage his former colleague making the move to Manchester United, given his ever improving CV.
"When you look at his track record and the clubs he has been at, it is one of the clubs he could manage," Clarke, currently manager of West Brom, told The Mirror.
"I sent him a little text before the game [against Manchester United] wishing him good luck. I told him although the world would be watching I wouldn’t be because I was going to watch a Championship game!"
Clarke added that he expects Mourinho will not think about his future with Real Madrid until the end of the season, and will purely focus on continuing their recent good form and moving forward on the path to Champions League glory.
"Over the Christmas period, they definitely had a rocky patch where it looked as though things weren’t going to go great for Jose," he said.
"But they have turned it around quite well. They have beaten Barcelona twice and now turned over Manchester United.
"I am sure Jose is focused on the fact he is going to try to win the Champions League with a third different team and in a third different country.
"I think that would be his main aim now and he will be completely focused. He is under contract with Real Madrid.
"As and when Real Madrid decide what they are going to do with their coach towards the end of the season, that becomes a different question."