Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon has denied a claim made by Sir Alex Ferguson that the club were ready to appoint Sven-Goran Eriksson as Ferguson’s successor.

Ferguson claims that before lasst year’s World Cup finals, Eriksson had agreed to take the job when it was assumed Ferguson was retiring, but Kenyon denies Eriksson was even interviewed for the post.

Ferguson eventually performed a u-turn and agreed to sign a new three-year contract with the club.

‘We made a statement at the time which was quite clear and that was we neverconcluded a deal with Sven and never discussed the position,’ Kenyon told Sky Sports News.

‘We got the best man to do thejob in Sir Alex.

‘The day he decided he wasn’t going to retire, I was delighted he was going to continue with us.

‘He is in the first year of a new three-year contract and we had always said that was our first choice.

‘But on the basis Alex was going to retire, we had to do the right thing for Manchester United.

‘We interviewed several candidates. On the basis Sir Alex was going to retire, our job was to get the best possible man for the job.

‘What it came down to was retaining Alex and that’s all that is important – and the rest is history.’