Sir Alex Ferguson arrived at United’s training ground at 6.50am this morning as the club prepared to address rumours of his retirement, with the Scot odds on to leave with Betfair football betting.
The United boss had an air of ‘business as normal’ as he stepped out of his car at the usual time to be joined shortly after by his assistant Mike Phelan.
Ferguson is not scheduled to talk to the media until Friday but the club are widely anticipated to release a statement on the matter of the management situation after uncertainty was created by a Daily Telegraph article last night.
Any announcement the club makes needs to be made first to the New York Stock Exchange, and before the first bell at 2.30pm UK time, under the regulations that the club was floated last year.
Jose Mourinho is now neck and neck with David Moyes in most bookmakers’ odds to take over from Ferguson, who has enjoyed unprecedented success in his almost 27 years at the helm.
Mourinho, who looks certain to leave Real Madrid this summer, is even the favourite with one bookmaker who suspended the betting on the Portuguese coach becoming the next Chelsea boss.
Despite all this, until they hear it from the man himself, many United fans still refuse to believe that the 71-year-old will not be in charge on the first day of next season.
In his programme notes before Sunday’s dull defeat at home to Chelsea, he said: “This team of champions is not going to go away – we are here for the long ride! We will get better and if we apply ourselves in our normal fashion I see our 20th league title as nothing but the start of another decade of success.
“Whether I will be here to oversee another ten years remains to be seen, but I certainly don’t have any plans at the moment to walk away from what I believe will be something special and worth being around for all to see.”
But he added a possible caveat.
“It’s always difficult in football to be absolutely sure of the future because the game has a habit of tripping you up, but I don’t live in a fantasy world.”
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