Man Utd: 'Genius' Ferguson impossible to replace - Mendes

By Dan RoanBBC sports editor
Sir Alex Ferguson signed off with another Premier League title
Sir Alex Ferguson signed off with another Premier League title

Manchester United still have not found a replacement for their "genius" former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, according to football super-agent Jorges Mendes.

Ferguson stood down as United manager in May 2013 after collecting 38 trophies in a 27-year reign.

He was replaced by fellow Scot David Moyes, who lasted just 10 months.

Now Dutchman Louis van Gaal is eight months into his Old Trafford career after guiding the Netherlands to the World Cup semi-finals.

Mendes - who represents several top players at Old Trafford - told BBC Sport that executive chairman Ed Woodward was "the right guy to drive Manchester United to find a way to win important trophies".

"But at the same time, he has just one problem - it's completely impossible to find someone like Sir Alex Ferguson because he's a god, he's a genius and to find a genius is very difficult," Mendes said.

"You have one in England - Jose Mourinho."

Jorge Mendes: People have the 'wrong idea' about football agents

In a thinly-veiled criticism of Van Gaal, Mendes said: "Having Sir Alex Ferguson ensures at this moment you have 12 or 15 points more.

"He's finished his career, but he's someone that's the difference."

United lie third in the Premier League table, 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea and five behind Manchester City, and have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Mendes is the agent of some of the world's top footballers, notably Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa and Angel Di Maria, as well as Chelsea manager Mourinho.

But Mendes thinks his fellow Portuguese will remain at Chelsea and never move to Old Trafford.

Mendes and Mourinho are good friends
Mendes and Mourinho are good friends

"Jose will stay for sure," said Mendes. "He will be the Sir Alex Ferguson of Chelsea Football Club. He loves the supporters, he loves the city and I think he will stay there for more than 10 years."

Mendes believes goalkeeper David De Gea, another of his clients, is not going anywhere either.

The 24-year-old Spaniard, who joined United for a £17.8m fee in 2011, has been linked with a big-money move to Real Madrid.

"He has one year left on his contract and I think that he will stay in Manchester," said the 49-year-old Mendes, who is reported to have brokered more than £1bn worth of transfers.

"The player will decide, but he's happy there, at the moment."

Jorge Mendes with Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao is one of many top players represented by Mendes

Mendes also said Radamel Falcao, on loan from Monaco, will be at a top club whether United sign him on a permanent deal or not.

The 28-year-old striker has had a frustrating time at Old Trafford this season, struggling to convince Van Gaal to select him.

"If he will not stay in Manchester, he will play for sure in one of the biggest teams in Europe," said Mendes, who represents the Colombian.