Sir Alex is a confirmed admirer of Martin Jol after trying to land the Fulham boss as his assistant manager.
The United chief pitted his wits against the Dutchman on Wednesday night at Craven Cottage but, if things had panned out differently during the 2003/2004 season, Jol could easily have been on the Reds' bench instead.
"I spoke to him about joining us as assistant manager. Whilst I was talking with him, I had a phone-call from Carlos and realised he wasn't happy at Real Madrid so I made moves to bring him back at the end of that season.
"It was unfortunate for Martin but it never stopped his career progressing. He did very well as a coach in Holland and then came to Tottenham. I think he's a terrific manager and his record is good. He's had great experience gathered at Hamburg and Ajax."