Revealed: The special privileges Jose Mourinho has given Alex Ferguson to keep him involved at Man United
Jose Mourinho's determination to ensure Alex Ferguson's presence is still felt around Manchester United has been laid bare, with fresh details emerging about the extent to which he has gone to involve the club's former manager.
United have endured a tough transition since Ferguson retired in May 2013 after 26 years at the helm, during which he won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and many other trophies.
Ferguson enjoyed good relations with David Moyes, his successor, and Louis van Gaal, but he cast a large shadow over both men.
But Mourinho believes it is important Ferguson and the club's past are embraced.
Mourinho disclosed last month that he was not one to be haunted by "ghosts" of the past and had made a point of inviting Ferguson to Carrington to watch training, talk to the players and share lunch with him.
And it has since emerged that when Ferguson recently requested permission to travel on the United team coach to an away match, Mourinho assured him that he did not need to ask and could sit anywhere he wanted, including in the seat reserved for the manager.
It also transpires that, before United played Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve, Mourinho went to seek out Ferguson in a private suite beneath the directors' box in Old Trafford's south stand to wish the Scot a happy 75th birthday.
As reported by ESPN, Ferguson, now a United director, was hosting at a table he uses to invite guests to games and was understood to have been touched by Mourinho's gesture.