Former England and Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello has revealed how he came 'really close' to joining Manchester United.
"I will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season and that is it," Ferguson said.
However, the same year in February, Fergie had a dramatic change of heart and announced he will instead remain and the rest was history. He went on and continued with his role for a further 11 years.
Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine, Capello revealed he was close to joining the Red Devils after talks with club officials over potentially replacing Ferguson.
"It was really close – that is the truth. I can’t deny that I would have loved to train Manchester United," he said.
"After winning Serie A with Roma in 2001, I spoke to representatives who came to visit me in Rome, but we couldn’t sign anything because Sir Alex decided not to retire in the end!"
"He phoned me a few days later to apologize because his wife was trying to convince him to leave, but it was a friendly conversation and I told him that nothing was wrong."
Ferguson was appointed manager of United in November 1986. During his 26 years with Manchester United, he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles.