Sir Alex Ferguson
Jose Mourinho has claimed he left Sir Alex Ferguson in no doubt he would reject United (Reuters)

Jose Mourinho has claimed that he told Sir Alex Ferguson he wanted to return to Chelsea before the legendary Scot named David Moyes as his successor at Manchester United.

Until now it has been assumed that Mourinho wanted the United job last summer, but was left frustrated when Ferguson chose Moyes instead. Some reports have even suggested the Portuguese cried when he heard United had overloooked him.

However the former Real Madrid coach has painted a different picture of events, saying: "I don't know if Sir Alex thought of me for United or not, the point is he clearly knew I wanted to go to Chelsea.

"I spoke with him after we [Real] knocked United out of the Champions League last season and I told him what I wanted to do – that Chelsea is what I wanted, that was the direction I wanted to go."

Moyes has endured a nightmare start to his tenure at Old Trafford. United are already guaranteed to record their lowest-ever points total in a Premier League season, and crashed out of both the FA and Capital One clubs to teams battling relegation from England's top flight.

Many United fans have lamented the club's failure, or refusal, to recruit Mourinho last summer, with a large proportion of the Old Trafford crowd believing 'the Special One' would have done a far better job than Moyes, who has never won a major trophy in his entire managerial career.

However Mourinho has shown support for the former Everton boss, suggesting he deserves time to remould the squad - and warning the doubters that United's season is not dead yet.

"He [Moyes] went to a new club – a club with a new reality for him – and he is adapting. Next season will be better and attention, attention! He can still win the Champions League this season."