Sir Alex Ferguson’s future as Manchester United manager was today shrouded in doubt, with sources claiming that there would be a statement regarding his position and that the squad had been told to expect an announcement.
Rumours Ferguson is ready to call it quits at Old Trafford emerged in Manchester following a golf day between United’s players and coaching staff.
The 71-year-old, will undergo a hip replacement operation this summer that could see him miss the start of United’s title defence next season.
But it is understood the Scot is reviewing his position in the light of his impending surgery, with his brother Martin Ferguson also poised to stand down as United’s chief scout. With chief executive David Gill also standing down this summer, Ferguson is considering whether the time is right for him to call it a day.
The bookmakers now believe they know who is going to be the next United manager: David Moyes.
The Everton boss has yet to sign a new deal at Goodison Park, and the rumour mill stirred into action over the weekend with talk of him spending next season as Sir Alex Ferguson’s No.2, before easing into the Old Trafford hotseat.
Moyes’s current Everton contract runs out this summer, and he has delayed committing to a fresh deal until after this season is over.
As rumours of the Ferguson’s imminent retirement swept Manchester, senior figures at the club failed to respond to repeated attempts to confirm or deny the story. United refused to comment and, although that is not unusual, the club were not even returning calls on the matter.
Many people inside football – including two Premier League managers – have suggested privately this season that Ferguson would have stood aside had United not lost last season’s title race to Manchester City with the last kick of the campaign.
The suggestion that Moyes may join as assistant manager for a season would be unprecedented but it is seen by some as a perfect way for a future United manager to learn the ropes at the club, working closely with Ferguson before he retires from the game.
Moyes is yet to win a trophy at Everton but in more than a decade at Goodison Park he has brought stability and Premier League consistency to a club with a relatively small budget. I question the likelihood of this move. I’m struggling to see Moyes working as Ferguson’s understudy for an entire season, surely he’d prefer to continue playing the leading role at Everton?
Personally, I’d prefer to see a more celebrated manager as the next Manchester United boss. In this instance Klopp and Mourinho spring to mind. Both of these coaches have experience at the highest end of European football and they would know exactly how to handle the big-name players at Old Trafford.
Until an official announcement regarding this story is made, the footballing world will be on the edge of their seats.
Have your say, comment with your opinions in the section below! Will Ferguson retire come the end of the season? And if so, is Moyes his perfect replacement?