Sir Alex Ferguson considered bringing David Moyes to Manchester United 14 years before he took the reins at Old Trafford.
Moyes was months into his first management job at Preston when Fergie began his search for a reliable no.2 following Brian Kidd’s decision to leave and take over at Blackburn.
In the end, Derby County assistant Steve McClaren got the job.
“I do know there were a few people in the frame and I think it was David Moyes and myself who were top of the charts,” McClaren told talkSPORT as part of a special documentary called ‘Football, Bloody Hell! How United won the Treble’.
In addition to his obvious talent at winning trophies, McClaren believes recruitment was one of one of Fergie’s great strengths whether it be picking the right players or staff.
However, he thought someone was winding him up when the legendary boss called him one evening to offer him the role.
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“I got a phone call on a Saturday night – I’d just got back from a game – and it was a Scotsman on the phone and I thought it was a hoax.”
He quickly realised it was not and was floored by the words that followed.
McClaren: ‘First five months at Old Trafford the toughest of my entire career’
“It was the real Sir Alex and he asked me if I wanted to become the Manchester United assistant manager.
“Once I got up off the ground I said yes, obviously. He said ‘great, we play [Derby] on Tuesday at Old Trafford, I’ll have a word with Jim [Smith] after the game and hopefully he’ll agree and you can come and join us.”
As for Moyes, he remained at Preston until 2002 when he took over at Everton, having won the Division Two title and losing the Division One play-off final.
He stayed there until Fergie handpicked him to take his place in the United dugout when he retired in 2013.
Unfortunately, his dream job ended nine months later when he was forced out the door – a decision he said reduced him to tears.
A special documentary called ‘Football, Bloody Hell! How United won the Treble’ featuring contributions from Teddy Sheringham, Andy Cole and Martin Edwards will be aired on talkSPORT at 9pm on Thursday 23 May