Everton boss David Moyes has revealed that he could have been Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United as he prepares his high-flying side for a trip to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
The Toffees boss has proved himself against United before, inspiring his side to a shock 4-4 draw last season, but it could have been different if the Red Devils boss had not elected to name Steve McClaren as his No.2 instead of the young Scot while he was coaching Preston.
"I met Fergie in the year they won the Champions League," Moyes told reporters. "He asked me to have a cup of tea with him. He was looking for an assistant. I met him but he gave the job to McClaren.
"I was fine with that because I was enjoying what I was doing at Preston but, if that opportunity had come, I wouldn't have turned it down. Maybe it was a good decision not to do it.
"They went on to win the European Cup and have been very successful since but I'm happy with the way it's worked out for me."
Everton are vying for a Champions League qualifying position this season, displaying fine form and going into their clash at Old Trafford six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, and Moyes believes that the current squad is his best ever.
"I've got a really good team and I feel responsible to help get that team even better," he enthused. "This is the best team since I've been here, albeit the team who got to the Champions League was tough, resilient and worked hard. This team have a little bit more flair."
Although Everton's lack of substantial funds prevents Moyes from competing for top targets in the transfer market, he is still determined to succeed and bring silverware to the club.
"I want to win things, I am desperate to win things," he added. "I don't think there is any manager who doesn't. But not everybody's got the tools, not everybody has the ability. I have the tools in as much as I'm at a club that have won things in the past; league championships, cups.
"So I have that history, but we don't have the finances to compete with the real big boys. Things have changed since [Everton manager in the 1980s] Howard Kendall did magnificently to win the title twice in three years."