English news outlet The Telegraph has claimed it believes Sir Alex Ferguson is strongly considering retirement from his 26-year reign as manager of Manchester United.
Another English outlet, The Guardian, has backed up the story.
The Telegraph stated, “Sources close to the players confirm[ed] that the squad’s golf day had been overshadowed by suggestions that the Scot would be making an announcement ahead of Sunday’s clash with Swansea at Old Trafford.”
This shocking decision would come on the heels of both a Premier League championship and news that he’ll be needing offseason hip surgery.
The story continued, “As rumours of the 71-year-old’s imminent retirement swept Manchester, senior figures at the club failed to respond to repeated attempts to confirm or deny the story, which emerged following United’s player versus coaches golf day at Dunham Massey on Tuesday afternoon.”
Because the club has recently floated partial ownership on the New York Stock Exchange to quell its massive debt, it is required to adhere to rules and regulations regarding the release of significant information regarding the management of the club. A managerial change would certainly fall under those terms, requiring them to release this information as soon as they are able.
However, this report also directly contradicts what he said to the BBC just 2 days ago. Ferguson strongly stated, “I don’t have any plans to walk away from what I believe will be something special and worth being around to see.”
Rumors are just that – rumors. But obviously with such a shocking possibility, it’s always worth noting what is swirling about.
If Sir Alex were to step down, the heavy favorite to replace him would be Everton’s David Moyes, whom the brass at Old Trafford has long been interested in, and one would have to believe he’d leave his post at Goodison Park if the job were offered to him. Another rumor from earlier today suggested Moyes was planning to quit Goodison this summer anyways to spend a year as Ferguson’s assistant at United.
Also, this could throw a huge wrench in any plans Chelsea may have had to bring Jose Mourinho to replace the outgoing Rafa Benitez.