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Neville: Mourinho a contender

Gary Neville believes Jose Mourinho will be a strong contender to replace Sir Alex Ferguson when he finally steps down from his position at Old Trafford.

• Fergie against Ancelotti axe

Mourinho is often named as a possible candidate to take on one of football's most daunting tasks: replacing the man who has managed United since 1986 and achieved such incredible success.

Though Mourinho's own formidable reputation has taken a knock of late given Real Madrid's loss to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals and his outburst following the first leg, he is still one of the most highly-regarded coaches in the business.

Neville, who retired from professional football earlier this season, certainly believes the Portuguese has some of the qualities needed to step into Ferguson's shoes.

"I really like this manager. I think he's a fantastic manager," Neville told the BBC. "His team get results and he does what he has to do to get results.

"This guy has won European Cups. He's a serial winner. He knows how to win games. There are many good managers out there and it won't be just him on the cards I am sure.

"That is the most difficult question for Manchester United - the day when he is not manager anymore."

Ferguson has said he will definitely not retire at the end of this season, but he remains on a rolling contract at Old Trafford.

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