Last updated : 30 August 2004 By editor

David Moyes was in the frame for Fergie's number two before moving to Everton and is still mentioned as a possible Ferguson successor. Ferguson was asked if he was worried that their friendship would be damaged by the Rooney transfer saga.

"Not really. I have spoken to David a couple of times over the last few weeks over different matters. He came to the Vodafone tournament and was in my office having a cup of tea after the game, so I have no problems with David. He and I get on very well together."

Ferguson told the MEN that he is surprised how quickly Everton have declined in recent years:

"There has been an amazing succession of managers at Everton since Howard Kendal had that powerful team when I first came down here. The change was so sudden - it wasn't a gradual decline, just a sort of `bang' and you woke up one morning and there was financial debt, players leaving, and it just seemed to change all of a sudden. There suddenly seemed to be financial problems and they were selling players and every manager has had to come in and work under those circumstances and that makes it difficult for them."

Ferguson is convinced that Moyes can turn things around:

"David has to take great credit for the job he has done there. He has galvanised them in whatever way he has done it and managed to keep that appetite and enthusiasm about them."