Man United turn back to Sir Alex Ferguson to restore glory days as consultant
The legendary manager was active in brokering Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment after Jose Mourinho was axed last week.
Solskjaer plans regular contact with his ex-boss, something Mourinho did not do. While Fergie also pulled the strings behind the scenes for the return of his former assistant Mike Phelan, 56.
And now ex-keeper Peter Schmeichel wants to join the famous old guard as the club’s director of football.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who was desperate to get it right after three managerial failures on his watch, turned to Fergie as he prepared to sack Mourinho in the wake of the 3-1 loss at Liverpool.
An Old Trafford source insists the Scot, who will not be employed in a full-time capacity, had made sure Solskjaer as well as Phelan were prepared to take up their new positions at their former club BEFORE Wednesday’s announcement.
Ferguson, along with Sir Bobby Charlton and David Gill who make up United’s football board, had rarely, if ever, been asked for advice or assistance by Woodward.
And it is understood Woodward did not consult him over the appointment of Mourinho as Louis van Gaal’s successor in May 2016.
But the source added: “Once Woodward had talked to the Glazers and told them he wanted Jose out, he needed to be certain he could get the right kind of figure in for the short term at least.
“That’s where Fergie came in and he helped make sure the whole thing happened with Solskjaer and Phelan.”
While Solskjaer arrived from Norwegian club Molde, Phelan was drafted in from Australian side Central Coast Mariners.
Ferguson, who turns 77 next Monday, has made an astonishing recovery from a brain haemorrhage suffered in May and attended his first match back at Old Trafford four months ago.
Meanwhile, Schmeichel made his pitch to become director of football.
RB Leipzig chief Paul Mitchell, Tottenham’s ex-head of recruitment, is also in the frame as the club plan a restructure.
Schmeichel told BBC’s Sportsweek: “I’m thinking about putting my name in there. Like every other footballer, I want to be involved again.
“I have this energy, I have education but I’ve not seen anything that’s really interesting to make the big change and then I see this big idea about director of football at Man United.
“I’m considering if I have the qualities and will think about it over Christmas. If I do think yes, then I will throw my hat into the ring.
“Ole knows exactly what the club is. He’s a product of Sir Alex and that’s something he can inject in the coming months.
“What’s really important is to get the Manchester United culture back, the Manchester United identity back.”
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