London: Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has claimed that he was to succeed Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2002 and even signed a contract.
According to Sport24, Ferguson announced that he would step down as United manager in 2002 and although he later reversed his decision, Eriksson revealed he struck a deal with the club to replace the Scot.
The Swede, who coached England between 2001 and 2006, made the claim in his new autobiography, in which he also revealed that he clashed with Ferguson over Wayne Rooney`s participation at the 2006 World Cup, the report said.
Eriksson included Rooney in his squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany despite the striker having broken a bone in his foot shortly before the squad was announced, the report added.
He also claimed that Ferguson did not want to release Rooney for the tournament, prompting a clash between him and England doctor Leif Sward.
Rooney went to the tournament but underperformed and was sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho during England`s quarterfinal against Portugal, who beat them on penalties, according to the report.