Many Man United fans believed that Mourinho, following Sir Alex’s departure in 2013, was the natural successor to the throne at Old Trafford, but the job went to David Moyes instead.
Ferguson has recently hailed Mourinho for the change delivered at United over the past few months, noting that the team has begun to mirror the demands of their boss.
And Mourinho, speaking ahead of United’s League Cup semi-final second leg clash with Hull City, was equally full of praise for the Scot.
“The support I feel is the support I always felt from him except when I was a direct competitor against his teams but I always felt this kind of support,” he said.
“Friends wishing good to each other, supporting each other by a simple SMS that can mean a lot in a simple moment. He’s very respectful, too.
“I told him this is our house, always.”
Ferguson has been something of an ambiguous figure ever since his retirement: always present at every game, occasionally speaking to the media – almost always about United’s current manager, consigned to expressing nothing but positivity, even during the nadir of respective failures overseen by Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
With Mourinho, on the other hand, Ferguson’s remarks feel more genuine, more insightful in comparison to the platitudes offered when asked how either Moyes or van Gaal were doing, almost as if – finally – he can see something of his past United side in the current one.