Sir Alex Ferguson has aimed another barb at Rafael Benítez by claiming the Chelsea interim manager is overly concerned about his CV, while also stating that despite the majority of managers sharing a post-match drink with him at Old Trafford the Spaniard has done so only once.
Benítez reopened his long-running feud with the Manchester United manager when the pair met in the drawn FA Cup quarter-final in March, claiming Ferguson had refused to shake his hand after the match.
Ferguson said: "I don't know where he is getting that from. I never even saw him. I don't know why he went and made such an issue of it. When we went down to Stamford Bridge [for the replay] we shook hands before and after the game. There are no problems for me. We do it all the time. I don't always do it before the game because I am always out there first. At the end of the game we always shake hands and we always have a meeting in my office after with both sets of staff. It is a fantastic thing to do. It is an opportunity to get away from the game itself. You maybe see managers twice a year when you play them so that opportunity to spend half an hour with them after a match is vital. You can discuss your jobs and a lot of issues."
This is Benítez's seventh season in the Premier League, following his six in charge of Liverpool between 2004-10. Yet Ferguson believes he has visited his office at Old Trafford for a chat on one occasion and never when Ferguson took United to Anfield. "He came in once when he was at Liverpool. I don't think he's come in again," Ferguson said.
"He never came in at Anfield. They [managers] don't always come in but in the main they do. It is not easy if you have lost a game but I always say to my staff make sure we go in because it is our chance to show we are Manchester United. No matter the result, go in."
Regarding Benítez's ambition, Ferguson said: "I think he is very concerned about his CV, he refers to it quite a lot but you cannot dispute the fact he has done a good job [at Chelsea]. What has been key to it is the fans have settled down a bit and they have let him get on with his job."
Ferguson would also welcome José Mourinho back to the Premier League, if the Portuguese does return as he hinted again this week, with a second tenure at Chelsea appearing the most likely eventuality. "Yes. Absolutely. It will get me angry again," he said jokingly. "I think going back is a big attraction for him, if his time at Madrid is finished that is. But I have no knowledge of it."
Ferguson also stated he hopes Nani, who is in contract discussions, remains at the club. "We have no plans to sell anyone. That's a fact," he said. "There is no need for us to sell. He played last week at Arsenal and I thought he did well. He had a hamstring injury. He is one of our squad players. When he is in form there are very few better than him. So I think we will bring him back in pre-season training and he will be all right."
Regarding whether Nani will sign on again, Ferguson said: "That is not my department. It is something David [Gill, the chief executive] and Jorge Mendes [the player's agent] are working on. That is ongoing. But there is no progress as far as I know."
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