Dutch international Wesley Sneijder has reiterated his belief that his former manager at Inter Milan, Jose Mourinho, will succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager when the Scot finally calls time on his Old Trafford tenure.
Sneijder, who won the treble under Mourinho’s stewardship last season, believes that the former Porto coach, now at Real Madrid, would relish the chance to succeed Ferguson when the opportunity arises.
"When Ferguson retires, in my mind, it's a deal already done in people's heads,’’ Sneijder said.
’’One world-class manager leaves and another one takes over. I have had many deep and long conversations with Jose and I would put money on him taking over from Ferguson. I know the job he would want is to be Manchester United manager.
"To be honest, he is probably the only coach in the world who is capable of taking over from Ferguson. I know Ferguson will have a big say in who takes over from him, and even though they have their differences there is a big mutual respect."
Ferguson, who has been in charge at Old Trafford since 1986, has etched himself into football history by winning 22 major trophies during his time with the Red Devils.
It is currently uncertain as to how long he will continue in the role but, at the age of 68, it is likely that he will step down within the next five years.
Sneijder is in no doubt that Mourinho is anticipating a return to England in the future, having previously guided Chelsea to their first league title in 50 years.
"I know how excited he is to get back to the Premier League," added Sneijder. " When he talked about it, he was like a little kid. He was so excited. It really turns him on."
Whilst United may represent a future aim for Mourinho, his immediate priorities are with Madrid as he looks to bring a halt to Barcelona’s dominance in La Liga.
By Jeorge Bird