Ranieri, who guided Leicester to a shock title win last season, was sacked by Chelsea in 2004 and replaced with Mourinho, who guided Chelsea to their first domestic league success in 50 years.
Mourinho was appointed by Man United as Louis van Gaal‘s sucessor last month and he has already been busy in the transfer market acquiring the services of Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Speaking about Mourinho, Ranieri insists the Portuguese boss will leave his imprint at Old Trafford.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Ranieri said: “Mourinho can be the new Ferguson. He will not stay 26 years, but he will leave his imprint.”
Such an aggrandising comment is usually the product of ‘mind games’ between fellow managers. But as demonstrated last year, the ‘Tinkerman’ refuses to enrol himself in such psychological battles.
Both Mourinho and Sir Alex boast an illustrious trophy cabinet, but that is not what makes them iconic, nor is this what Ranieri is talking about.
Rather, it is the winning mentality, the arrogance and the aura of superiority that Mourinho possesses above anything. At a club like United that thrives on panache and aggression, those attributes may just see him leave an immense mark at the club like the great Scot before him.