The Spanish giant is 13 points behind Barcelona in the Liga title race and the Madrid coach has already written off its chances of catching the Catalan side.
And, while United is still realistically challenging on three fronts this season, Ferguson expects the former Chelsea boss to focus his attention on Europe's elite club competition.
“Their target is the European Cup this year," the Scot told reporters ahead of United's Champions League last-16 first leg in Madrid on Wednesday. "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.”
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