The 22-year old Burkina Faso international was on trial at United when he was 17 and has revealed that Fergie gave him great compliments and wanted to sign him but couldn't because of work permit issues.
"It went well and Sir Alex said he wanted to keep me, but it was impossible to get a work permit," Traore told the French Ligue 1 official website.
"He suggested that I go to a Belgian club initially, but I also had the chance to play for Auxerre.
"I'll never forget the discussion I had with Ferguson in his office," he added. "He had a picture of David Beckham with some other stars celebrating with a trophy. He said if I worked hard enough, I could have the same success as Beckham.
"I also remember he was impressed with my left foot. He said: 'Alain, it's better to have one great foot that two average feet; just look at Ryan Giggs'. It was a great moment."