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Dec 3, 2012

Ferguson: Mourinho could lead United

Sir Alex Ferguson has suggested Jose Mourinho could take over as Manchester United boss in the future, backing the Real Madrid manager to succeed in any managerial role.

• Blog: Absurd season continues
• Blog: Thrilling but galling

It has been widely acknowledged that Ferguson's tenure at Old Trafford is nearing an end, with Mourinho amongst the highly-rated candidates to replace the Scot.

He has also been linked with a move to United's cross-city rivals as successor to Roberto Mancini and Ferguson believes the rumours are a testament to a manager he once doubted.

"He can manage anywhere, absolutely," Ferguson told ITV4. "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.

"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.

"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's Porto bundled United out of the Champions League on their way to the title in 2003 and gave Ferguson an insight into the Portuguese man's confidence.

"I remember his first press conference [at Chelsea] and I thought 'he's a cocky b****r, him," Ferguson said. "He was telling players, 'Look, I'm the Special One, we don't lose games'.

"Bloody hell, coming to England, he is only a young man and saying he is the Special One! But what it did, it told all the players to have the belief they were going to win the league."

Mourinho is yet to rule out the possibility of a move back to the Premier League, adding to speculation by insisting he has unfinished business in English football.

"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," he said."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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