Sir Alex Ferguson rejected Chelsea offer, rules out return to Manchester United as coach

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Speaking in his first big interview following his retirement as manager of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has lifted the lid on a multitude of topics as he recovers from a hip operation in his New York apartment.

Fergsuon, 71, spoke to PBS’ Charlie Rose on Tuesday night, and revealed how the West London side tried to lure him to Stamford Bridge.

“They used an agent to approach me when Abramovich first took over the club and I said: ‘No chance.'”

So, there you have it.

But that wasn’t the only interesting tidbit to come from Ferguson’s sit-down, oh no. He revealed he fully supports new manager David Moyes despite a tough start, and said he will never return as manager of Manchester United.

“United are in good hands with David Moyes,” Ferguson said. “He will be fine. He’s a good manager.”

And then Fergie, who won 38 trophies in 26 years in charge at United, dismissed any chance whatsoever of him making a dramatic return to management.

I’m not interested in managing again or getting myself worked up about Manchester United’s results. You would be throwing your money down the drain if you put any money on me coming back as a manager. I made my decision. The timing was perfect. There is no way back for me now. I’ve got a new life. I want to go to the Kentucky Derby and the US Masters, the Melbourne Cup. I want to visit vineyards in Tuscany and France.

Part of me wants to believe Ferguson will be sat at a table, sipping on a nice glass of red overlooking the rolling hills of Central Italy, but I can’t help but conjure up an image in my mind of Fergie furiously tapping his watch, chewing on a huge wad of gum, as the waiter takes an age to serve the meal.

But I guess that’s what the future has in store for Ferguson.

On a serious note, it will surely take him plenty of time to adjust to life outside of soccer. He has said he will never return as manager… but if United continue to struggle under Moyes and the Red Devils made a desperate call to Ferguson for help, would he really turn it down?

Don’t forget, he made a massive U-turn in 2002 when he announced his retirement for the first time, then back tracked and went on to coach for another 10 years, winning Premier League titles and Champions League crowns.

Not saying Ferguson’s return is imminent, but can we really rule it out?

Mourinho “working like never before” to turn Chelsea around

Jose Mourinho, Chelsea FC
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Jose Mourinho got the dreaded much-needed vote of confidence from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich last weekend, seemingly giving the Portuguese manager a temporary stay of execution despite the Blues’ worst start to a season in 37 years.

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Speaking this week, Mourinho has revealed that while he’s thankful to have been kept on at the club for which he regularly professes his love, he still thinks it was no-brainer for Abramovich. In other words, Mourinho’s not backing down from his incredible, seven-minute rant to one question following Saturday’s defeat to Southampton.

Mourinho, on what he’s doing to turn Chelsea around — quotes from the Guardian:

“It shows the confidence of Abramovich in the manager who has won three Premier League titles with this club. I thank him and I keep working.

“What’s going on? I do not know. The results with Chelsea at the moment have been really bad. I cannot hide that reality, and I don’t want to. And I struggle to find an explanation. But I assure you: I’m working like never before and we will come out of this. And there is also the Champions League that we will not neglect, for certain.”

What did you expect from Mourinho? Well, you know, I should probably be fired, but thanks to Mr. Abramovich for not realizing this and keeping me employed? It’s simultaneously interesting and the least surprising thing ever, though, that Mourinho claims to not know what’s wrong with Chelsea at the moment. Of course he has a theory (or five), and of course he’s “working like never before” to correct it.

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The most fascinating thing about Chelsea’s sluggish start to the season is to see, hear and read Mourinho speaking from a position of powerlessness. Always the clever one, the one dictating where the discussion goes, the one in charge of every press interaction, Saturday’s rant felt like watching a desperate Mourinho grasping for anything by which to pull himself back up.

Reports link Guardiola with Manchester City summer move

Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga
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There are claims out of Spain that Manchester City has a verbal agreement to bring Pep Guardiola to town when his Bayern Munich contract expires in June.

Don’t expect comment from Guardiola, who bristles when discussing his future. In the past he’s hinted he might not be the right man for the Bavarian side, but has lamented any questions about clubs other than Bayern.

Now Mundo Deportivo writer Francesc Aguilar says there’s a secret agreement between Guardiola and Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain to reunite at the Etihad Stadium this summer.

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Both Barcelona buffs and former Spanish internationals, Begiristain was Barca’s director of football when Guardiola took over for Frank Rjikaard in 2008.

Manuel Pellegrini signed a contract extension this summer and has led the club to a Premier League title, though the club has struggled in European competition. For what it’s worth, the Manchester Evening News got rumor reaction from Sergio Aguero:

On the latest Guardiola rumour, Kun said: “It has been talked about a lot. I don’t know him, but he’s a great manager and it’s wonderful to have the best managers train you.”

But he also added: “I’m very good with Manuel Pellegrini, we talk a lot. I’m happy in the team and with him, but the club will be the one who chooses who comes in.”

In other words, “I’m really good, and they pay me well enough that I’m prepared to play for any big name that arrives.”

It’s a story to keep up with, even as it intrudes on the seasons of two big, rich European clubs.