Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United did not make a mistake hiring David Moyes to succeed him as manager.

Ferguson defends the appointment of former Everton boss Moyes, who was sacked after eight months, in Secrets of Success, a documentary to be screened on BBC One on Sunday.

“We did the best under the circumstances we were in,” the 73-year-old tells the BBC’s Nick Robinson, who presents the documentary.

“We picked the right man.”

Ferguson ended his 26 years as United manager in 2013, recommending fellow Scot Moyes as his successor.

He only told the club’s chief executive, David Gill, of his plan to step down a couple of months earlier and claims most of the other potential candidates to replace him were unobtainable.

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

Ferguson’s Man Utd trophies

Premier League: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013

FA Cup: 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004

League Cup: 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010

Champions League: 1999, 2008

Cup Winners Cup: 1991

Fifa Club World Cup: 2008

Uefa Super Cup: 1992

Inter-Continental Cup: 1999

FA Charity/Community Shield: 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011

Ferguson says he went for dinner with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola in September 2012 – when he had “no idea” he was going to retire – and told the Spaniard: “Give me a call and tell me what you’re going to do.”

He adds: “I was just trying to think way ahead. But I didn’t get any answer and then he goes to Bayern Munich.

“We’d like to have spoken to many managers because that’s a process.

“We’d like to have asked them what they felt about leaving a big club to go to a bigger club – to come to Manchester United. It wasn’t there for us.”

Ferguson also tells Robinson, who presents the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, that Moyes may never had been appointed had former United winger Ryan Giggs not played on until after his 40th birthday.

Giggs, who made a record 963 appearances for the club, took charge for four games after Moyes was dismissed and is current boss Louis van Gaal’s assistant.

“If Ryan Giggs had retired at, say, 35, it is quite likely I’d have made him my assistant,” says Ferguson. “And quite likely he could have moved right into the job as he is doing with Louis van Gaal at the moment.

“But I would never ask a player to quit.”

Louis van Gaal and Ryan Giggs

Van Gaal said recently of Giggs: “I feel I am introducing the next manager of Manchester United”

Van Gaal has said Giggs will be the next United manager, a notion the club have neither confirmed nor denied.

Ferguson denies he was solely responsible for the appointment of Moyes, who joined the club after 11 years at Everton.

He says the Glazer family – United’s owners – and Gill also played their part.

“Do you honestly believe one man could decide the future of Manchester United?” says Ferguson. “It’s nonsense.

“There was a good process. They’re a professional football club – they know what they’re doing – the Glazers and David Gill.”

Ferguson also rejects the view the squad Moyes inherited from him was sub-standard.

“There’s this continual thing about ‘we left an old team’ and all that nonsense,” he says.

“It’s unbelievable. We won the league by 11 points.”

Sir Alex Ferguson: Secrets of Success is on BBC One on Sunday, 11 October at 22:30 BST.