The fiery Irishman claims the Scottish coach is trying to exert “control and power” at the struggling defending champions and has a “massive ego”.
Keane, who was the midfield driving force in a glorious spell for the club between 1993 and 2005, but who has fallen out with Ferguson since then, said his former boss at Nottingham Forest, Brian Clough, was the best manager he worked under.
United have endured a difficult start to life under Ferguson’s successor David Moyes, having already lost three league games at Old Trafford, leaving them in ninth spot and 13 points behind front-runners Arsenal.
Keane said of Ferguson, now a director at United: “Everything is about control and power. He’s still striving for it now even though he’s not manager. There’s massive ego involved in that.”
Keane, who left United in 2005 after a disagreement with Ferguson, was speaking in an ITV4 documentary called ‘Keane and Vieira: The Best of Enemies’ concerning his rivalry with former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.
He said that his relationship with the former United boss is now “non existent”.
The Irishman even took issue with Ferguson praising him in his recently released autobiography for “covering every blade of grass” in the 1999 Champions League semifinal second leg against Juventus.
Keane added: “Stuff like that almost insults me. I get offended when people give quotes like that about me. It’s like praising the postman for delivering letters.”
Keane admitted he had cried in his car when his United career came to an abrupt end over a candid interview he gave to the club’s in-house television station criticising his teammates.
He said: “Of course I was upset: I did shed a few tears in my car for about two minutes.
“But I also told myself I had to get on with my life.
“I walked out with nothing, I had no club lined up and I was injured.
“I told David Gill I had been injured playing for Man United.
“I could have played for Manchester United easily for another couple of years.”
Keane said Ferguson’s strongest trait was his “ruthlessness”, while labelling “loyalty” his biggest weakness.
Ferguson said in his autobiography that his authority at Old Trafford would have been undermined had he not forced Keane out in 2005.
The Scot said Keane had “slaughtered” several of his teammates in the MUTV interview. Ferguson said Keane invited the United players to watch the interview, but that the decision backfired when several senior players, including Dutch duo Edwin van der Sar and Ruud van Nistelrooy, rounded on the captain.
Ferguson said at a press conference promoting the release of his book in October: “‘We had to react to the situation so quickly because his actions were so quick. For one reason or another he decides to go and criticise his teammates.
“We decided we had to do something. The meeting in the room was horrendous. I just couldn’t lose my control in this situation.
“Throughout my career I have been strong enough to deal with important issues like that. Roy overstepped his mark. There was no other thing we could do.”
Keane told ITV in October: “I do remember having conversations with the manager when I was at the club about loyalty and, in my opinion, I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word.”