Ex-England manager Sven Goran Eriksson claims he was offered the Manchester United job, but missed out on the chance to take over at Old Trafford after Sir Alex Ferguson made a u-turn on his retirement decision in 2002, reports Sky Sports.
The 65-year-old Swede confirms in his new autobiography that he was approached by the reigning Premier League champions, just 12 months after taking charge of the Three Lions.
Ferguson - who eventually retired at the end of 2012/13 - previously announced his intention to leave the club over a decade ago, but went on to stay at the Manchester United helm for 26 years.
Eriksson reflects frustratingly on the episode, citing his commitment to the England national team as another reason the job never came to fruition, before the former Red Devils boss ultimately changed his mind.
"I knew it would be tricky. I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract," he explained.
"But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United, probably the biggest club in the world. A contract was signed - I was United's new manager.
"I would be able to stay with England through the World Cup. My appointment would not be made official until after the tournament.
"A couple of weeks passed and Pini (Zahavi, Eriksson's agent) called again. He wanted another meeting. When I got there, I knew something was wrong. (Peter) Kenyon explained Ferguson had changed his mind.
"He did not want to leave the club after all but had agreed to stay in the job for another three years."
Ferguson was eventually replaced by David Moyes in the summer, the former Everton boss given the unenviable task of succeeding the greatest manager in football history.
He's made a modest start to life at Old Trafford, with Manchester United currently eighth in the Premier League table, with 17 points from their opening 10 games, but has reason to be confident for the future.
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