The Scottish coach had planned to retire that year, and Eriksson alleges that United officials moved to approach him over the role – even signing a contract.
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"I knew it would be tricky," wrote Eriksson in his autobiography, which is being serialised by the Mail on Sunday.
"I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract.
"But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United. A contract was signed — I was United's new manager."
Eriksson, who also revealed that he had fallen out with Ferguson over Wayne Rooney, claims his agent, Pini Zahavi, has the contract stating the 65-year-old would be United's new manager in his office.