The Manchester United manager expects the former Chelsea boss to concentrate on Madrid's European exploits after admitting defeat in retaining their domestic crown
The Spanish giants are 13 points behind Barcelona in the Liga title race and the Madrid coach has already written off their chances of catching the Catalan side.
And, while United are still realistically challenging on three fronts this season, Ferguson expects the former Chelsea boss to focus his attention on Europe's elite club competition.
Ahead of United's Champions League last-16 first leg in Madrid on Wednesday, the Scot told reporters: “Their target is the European Cup this year.
“They got a bad start in the league and they’re chasing their tails because Barcelona’s form is incredible. So I think Jose has set his sights on the European Cup this year, there’s no doubt about that.
“He’d be the only person to win the European Cup with three different teams, so it’s a fantastic challenge for him.
“I think the European Cup has always been important to him. He’s done a great job there, he’s got a terrific squad of players. But there’s no secret to his desire to win the European Cup.”