Report: Replacement picked for retiring United manager Ferguson

Legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is retiring at season’s end, and Everton’s David Moyes is poised to replace him, according to the London Evening Standard.

Ferguson has guided United to 38 trophies in 26 years. When the club clinched its 13th Premier League title under Ferguson two weeks ago, he said he was having no retirement thoughts.

But Wednesday morning, the 71-year-old Scotsman issued a statement announcing his retirement.

"The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly," he said. "It is the right time."

Ferguson has two matches left before he’ll leave the sideline to become a club director and ambassador.

"It was important to me to leave an organization in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so," Ferguson said. "The quality of this league-winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth setup will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one."

"With these activities, along with my many other interests, I am looking forward to the future," Ferguson said. "I must pay tribute to my family, their love and support has been essential."

No successor was announced but British media pointed to Moyes, whose contract with Everton runs out this summer. The Evening Standard said Ferguson was consulted on his replacement and that he considers Moyes “a first-class manager.” The paper expects an announcement later this week.

Ferguson leaves as the most successful manager in British soccer history. His record "will surely never be eclipsed," former United striker Michael Owen said, via the Associated Press.

"What an act to follow," Owen tweeted.

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