Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he only offered David Moyes the chance to replace him at Manchester United after he was ignored by Pep Guardiola.
Ferguson made a shock decision to retire at the end of the 2012/13 season after guiding the Red Devils to their 13th Premier League title.
Moyes was eventually confirmed as his successor, leaving Everton after 12 successful years in charge. He was handed a six-year deal at Old Trafford but lasted only 11 months.
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It was widely believed that Ferguson had played a pivotal role in the hiring of Moyes, who is a close friend of the Manchester United legend. It was that belief that saw some fans turn on Ferguson when the team were failing to impress under Moyes' instruction.
However, Ferguson would never have given the role to his fellow Scotsman had former Barcelona manager Guardiola taken up his offer. The Spaniard was about to bring an end to a year-long sabbatical, but he had already agreed to take charge of Bayern Munich by the time Ferguson announced his departure.
“I had dinner with Pep Guardiola in New York in 2012, but couldn’t make him any direct proposal because retirement was not on my agenda at that point,” Ferguson claims in his new book, 'Leading'.
“He had already won an enviable number of trophies with Barcelona…and I admired him greatly. 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.”
“When we started the process of looking for my replacement, we established that several very desirable candidates were unavailable"
In fact, Moyes may well have been much further down the pecking order than previously thought, at least if Ferguson's comments are to be believed. He went on to say that a number of manager's were considered, but, one by one were ruled out.
He continued: “When we started the process of looking for my replacement, 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 that Jurgen Klopp was happy at Borussia Dortmund and would be signing a new contract. Meantime, Louis van Gaal had undertaken to lead the Dutch attempt to win the 2014 World Cup.”