David Moyes wasn’t Alex Ferguson’s first choice to replace him at Manchester United.
When Alex Ferguson finally called time on his hugely successful spell at Man United, he had a few names in mind to replace him and he personally reached out to some candidates.
While he had a shortlist of names to take over when he initially toyed with the idea of retirement in 2001, Ferguson had a very different list of potential successors when he waved goodbye to Old Trafford 12 years later.
Apparently, current Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was held in high regard by Ferguson and the Scot even reached out to Ancelotti but he had to turn down the offer as he had already committed to signing a deal with Real Madrid.
“You want to know from me?” Ancelotti said of United’s approach. “I can say that I still keep a fantastic relationship with Sir Alex, and we met when he decided to stop (retire).
“But I was close to Real Madrid, and so I appreciate the fact that at that time he talked to me. And that’s it, no other opportunity (to manage United).”
In his 2015 book Leading, Ferguson opened up on his role in recommending managers to United and revealed that Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho were high up on his list.
Ferguson was also a big fan of Jurgen Klopp and Louis van Gaal but both had different commitments that made them unrealistic targets for the Red Devils at the time.
“When we started the process of looking for my replacement, we established that several very desirable candidates were unavailable,” Ferguson wrote.
“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.”
United ultimately ended up with David Moyes, who had spent the previous 11 years with Everton, and Ferguson urged supporters to get behind their new manager when he retired.
Ferguson would go on to assist Moyes in a number of departments to make the transition of power as seamless as possible but the younger Scot only lasted 10 months with United.
“We chose David Moyes. He had been consistent in his job at Everton, had a good spell there – 11 years and showed appetite,” Ferguson explained.
“Unfortunately, somehow it didn’t work out for David. The process was perfect. It was a good process.”