Denis Irwin has apologised for suggesting Sir Alex Ferguson could be the next Republic of Ireland manager.
Irwin apologised for the comments
Irwin was quoted in Monday's Daily Star as saying Ferguson had been approached to succeed current manager Brian Kerr - and that talks had taken place.
"I have apologised," Irwin told MUTV. "I was disappointed to read the comments because it was nonsense.
"Someone got carried away and the piece didn't go out as I wanted but it is my fault and I have to live with it."
Since his retirement, former Republic and United player Irwin has done a lot of media work.
"My very reliable sources say there has been contact between the FAI and my old boss," he told the newspaper.
"Of course he's denying it, he's under contract to United, but that doesn't mean he won't be Republic manager when our next competitive games come round."
Kerr's future as Republic manager is unclear after the team's failure to qualify for next year's World Cup finals, and Sir Alex is on a one-year rolling contract at Old Trafford, but says he will not take another coaching job when he leaves United.
"I have no problem with Brian," said Irwin.
"All I was saying is that if he does go - and I hope he doesn't - we need someone with the experience of a Martin O'Neill or an Alex Ferguson.
"Sir Alex has been at Manchester United for so long, it would be hard for him to take another job.
"I did say in my article that he was under contract. Someone put two and two together and got five."