• Premier League

Moyes yet to strike Man United deal

ESPN staff
May 8, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
The secret history of Ferguson and Moyes

Everton manager David Moyes is expected to be appointed the new manager of Manchester United in the very near future but no deal was agreed by the close of play on Wednesday evening, according to Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright.

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 of his exit increased when he was seen with Everton chairman Kenwright in a pre-arranged meeting in London on Tuesday evening - hours after United confirmed Sir Alex Ferguson will retire.

Kenwright was later quoted by Sky Sports News as saying that a deal is not done to take Moyes' services to Old Trafford, and that he will be in charge of Everton's Sunday clash against West Ham.

"I don't know about a deal being done," Kenwright told Sky Sports News. "David had a meeting scheduled with me and we've just had a good meeting.

"I think, at the end of the day, David's contract is up in six weeks' time and he has a right to make his own decisions. He's served this club wonderfully well."

Moyes is 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 that Moyes' appointment will be made public within 24 hours.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, Swansea's Michael Laudrup and Celtic boss Neil Lennon have already emerged as early candidates to replace the Scot at Everton.

A long-time friend of Ferguson, Moyes was a candidate to become his assistant at Old Trafford after Brian Kidd vacated the role to become manager of Blackburn in December 1998. The two men met to discuss the role, and Moyes - then in charge of Preston - was interested in making the move, but after nearly two months of deliberation Ferguson instead decided to bring in Steve McClaren, then Derby's first-team coach, at the start of February 1999.

McClaren said on Wednesday evening that he believes Moyes is the right man to replace Ferguson. The former England manager told BBC Radio 5 live: "He's a winner and has a work ethic similar to Sir Alex. He's also built a dynasty and legacy at Everton.

"He's waited many years for this opportunity and I hope he gets it."

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

ESPN has learned there is "virtually no chance" of Mourinho taking over at United 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.

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