• Premier League

Cantona: I could replace Fergie at Man Utd

Kevin Palmer
November 15, 2012
Eric Cantona to replace Sir Alex Ferguson? © PA Photos

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has told ESPN that he would relish the chance to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as the next Old Trafford chief.

Cantona said he wants the legendary Ferguson to 'carry on managing United' forever, but the French maverick - currently working with the New York Cosmo's - has claimed he would jump at the chance to make an emotional return to Manchester one day after being asked if he would like to manage the league leaders.

"I would say, 'United is special, of course I would do it. Today I'm with the New York Cosmos, but if one day there is an opportunity, why not?" he said.

In an extended interview, Cantona spoke about his pride at the unique place he holds in the hearts of United folklore, as well as his enduring admiration for the manager who gave him the most successful years of his colourful career.

"Alex Ferguson is young, has so much energy, so much love of the game, so many things to give, more and more and more," Cantona said. "I love to watch them winning things and I want Ferguson to be manager for ever.

"He's a winner, that's why he has won so many things. It's what is incredible with him, next game is like the first game of his career, and he gives you that - his passion, his love of the game, love of winning things."

Cantona went on to insist he has no regrets over his sudden retirement from the game back in 1997, as he marvels over the longevity of former United team-mates Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who both continue to prolong their career some 15 years later.

"Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are different to me," he said. "When I was 20, I gave interviews and said if I lose the passion, the fire, I will stop and try to do something else. But those that still play and still have the fire, it's good. I would have loved to have this fire forever and try to play forever, but I lost it and retired."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.