Sir Alex Ferguson’s future as manager of Manchester United was cast into doubt last night amid reports the 71-year-old is set to step down in the coming days.
It is reported by The Guardian that an announcement regarding his future may be forthcoming after some members of United’s playing staff had been told to expect news regarding their manager at a golf event held on Tuesday evening.
Sources are reported to have said that the players were told by members of the coaching staff- also at the event- that the Scot may be preparing to announce his retirement from the position he has held since 1986.
The reports come following bookmakers slashing the odds on current Everton boss David Moyes becoming Manchester United’s next manager, earlier in the week.
The club’s press department, The Guardian reports, were unavailable to comment on the rumours yesterday evening- further fuelling speculation around Ferguson’s future.
A response from the club, either confirming or denying the rumours, may be likely though given the club’s flotation on the New York Stock Exchange- in order to appease the fears of concerned investors.
The rumours may prove to be little more than unfounded speculation given that as recently as Sunday Ferguson is quoted in his programme notes- ahead of the Chelsea game- as saying that he has no intentions of walking away from the role.
“This team of champions is not going away- we are here for the long ride. We will get better and if we continue to apply ourselves in our normal fashion, I see our twentieth league title as nothing but the start of another decade of success,” wrote Ferguson.
“Whether I will be here to oversee another decade of success remains to be seen, but I certainly don’t have any plans to walk away from what I believe will be something special and worth being around to see,” he added.
The former Aberdeen manager is due to undergo a hip operation over the summer, following United’s tour of Asia, which may see him miss the start of next season.
It is expected however that the Scot will be able to resume his responsibilities after a period of rehabilitation. There has been no suggestion, to date, that it is any further cause for concern.
If Ferguson were to step aside following his 1,500th game in charge of United at West Bromich Albion on the final day of the season it would mark the end of the most illustrious career in British managerial history- having led his side to a record 13 league titles during his tenure.