Manchester United v Real Madrid: Jose Mourinho appears to rule out replacing Sir Alex Ferguson

Real Madrid manager is among the favourites to replace Ferguson when he retires

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho appears to have hinted that he will not be replacing Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager.

Mourinho gave a knockabout interview to former United European Cup winner Paddy Crerand on behalf of the club channel MUTV yesterday evening, immediately prior to the main Madrid press conference at Old Trafford ahead of tomorrow's Champions League clash between the teams.

And while the matter of the Portuguese becoming United's next manager was not addressed directly, in an exchange about MUTV subscriptions, the former Chelsea boss suggested he would never take over at the United helm.

Initially, Mourinho jokingly said he wanted Crerand to arrange a free annual subscription for the channel.

In response, Crerand said the only people who did not pay the £6 monthly fee were club employees.

To this, Mourinho replied: "There is no chance. I have to pay.

Crerand responded: "You never know. One day?

"One day? Nah. I don't think so," Mourinho said.

"You never know? Life is strange," Crerand persisted.

"You never know, but I don't think so," Mourinho said, before changing the subject.

While it could hardly be described as definitive, it was nevertheless an interesting exchange given Mourinho is one of the few obvious candidates to succeed 71-year-old Ferguson.

Admittedly, the Scot has said on numerous occasions he has no immediate plans to step aside, which he repeated today when quizzed about whether Mourinho was the right man to move into his seat.

"You get this question all the time and I can't answer it because I am still the manager here," Ferguson said.

"I hope I am still the manager tomorrow.

"It is impossible to discuss who is going to replace me because there is no timescale to it."

PA

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