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Moyes hot favourite to replace Ferguson

ESPN staff
May 8, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
David Moyes is currently the bookmakers' favourite to replace Sir Alex Ferguson

Everton manager David Moyes is expected to take charge of Manchester United following the news of Sir Alex Ferguson's impending retirement.

Moyes, who is out of contract this summer, has repeatedly refused to commit his future to Everton, saying talks would take place at the end of the season. Speculation on his situation increased when he was seen with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright in a pre-arranged meeting in London on Tuesday evening.

He is now expected to bring his 11-year reign to an end, with bet365 making him 1/4 favourite to take the job with reports in the Daily Telegraph Moyes' appointment will be made public within 24 hours.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, whose tenure at Real Madrid is almost certain to end this summer, is the second favourite at 11/4, with a return to his former club Chelsea more likely.

However, ESPN has learned that there is "virtually no chance" of Mourinho taking over this summer. High-placed sources at both Chelsea and Old Trafford state that there has been no change in the Portuguese coach's plans to reclaim control at Stamford Bridge, despite reports that Roman Abramovich is balking at paying Real Madrid's buy-out clause.

The timing of Ferguson's retirement had led to speculation that the path had been cleared for Mourinho but ESPN understands there has been minimal contact over any such succession.

ESPN also understands that United are yet to make an official approach to Everton, but Moyes is out of contract in the summer - ensuring his specific appointment would be relatively smooth in a logistical sense.

Furthermore, United have been working on the framework of the succession for some time, which would jar with a sudden left-field move - relative to the circumstances - for Mourinho.

Moyes began his managerial career with Preston in 1998, leading the club to the second tier in his second year in charge, before succeeding former Manchester United assistant manager Walter Smith at Goodison Park in 2002.

His time with Everton has not resulted in silverware, but he led the club into the top four in 2005 as well as finishing runners-up in the FA Cup in 2009. He shares with Ferguson the record for LMA Manager of the Year awards, earning the accolade in 2003, 2005 and 2009.

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp is16/1, with Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 20/1. Other touted candidates such as Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc and Manuel Pellegrini are available at much higher odds among most bookmakers.

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