Updated: Monday, 19th August 2019 @ 10:17am

Mourinho is 'good looking', Guardiola is 'impressive' – but canny David Moyes is Sir Alex's man for Manchester United

Mourinho is 'good looking', Guardiola is 'impressive' – but canny David Moyes is Sir Alex's man for Manchester United

By Pippa Field

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has regularly praised the work of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola but the Old Trafford hotseat should be filled by another canny Scotsman.

The Scotsman has been in charge of United for 26 years, but with his 71st birthday arriving on New Year’s Eve, the club will be thinking to who can fill his shoes – even if it is still kept hushed.

But in a speech given recently given to academic at Harvard Business School in Boston, the Reds boss was heard singing the praises of current Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.

“Jose is very intelligent, he has charisma, his players play for him, and he is a good looking guy,” said Ferguson.

“He’s got a confidence about himself, saying ‘We’ll win this’ and ‘I’m the special one’.

“I could never come out and say we’re going to win this game. It’s maybe a wee bit of my Scottishness.”

Mourinho enjoyed a great rivalry with Ferguson during the Portuguese manager’s time in charge of Chelsea, and has often been put forward as a possible replacement for the current United boss.

But with Mourinho signing a contract extension in May to keep him at the club until 2016, another possible contender could be Pep Guardiola, who is currently taking time out of the game in New York.

And Ferguson was equally positive about the former Barcelona boss – a man responsible for overseeing the Catalan club’s two Champions League final victories over United in 2009 and 2011.

“Guardiola is an impressive guy,” he added.

“He’s brought about change in Barcelona, urging the team to always work hard to get the ball back within seconds after losing it.

“They are gifted but work hard. It was a fantastic achievement. He elevated the status of his players.”

However if sources close to one of the United senior players are to believed, then Ferguson would actually prefer Mourinho, or even current Everton manager David Moyes, to succeed him.

“He actually has two preferred choices – David Moyes and Jose Mourinho,” the unnamed source told The Express.

“Moyes and Fergie are close and Fergie begrudgingly admires how Moyes has outfoxed him and many other teams over the years.

“Fergie admires Jose greatly but there are concerns that Jose’s manner and media links could make him become bigger than the club.”

Picture courtesy of BBC Sport, with thanks

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.