Moyes was building a reputation as a young boss at Preston when approached by United.
"I met Fergie in the year they won the Champions League," he told the Mail on Sunday. "He asked me to have a cup of tea with him. He was looking for an assistant. I met him but he gave the job to McClaren.
"I was fine with that because I was enjoying what I was doing at Preston, but if that opportunity had come I wouldn't have turned it down. Maybe it was a good decision not to do it.
"They went on to win the European Cup and have been very successful since but I'm happy with the way it's worked out for me."