David Moyes set to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United

Ferguson (l) with Moyes

Ferguson (l) with Moyes

Everton boss David Moyes is set to be appointed as the new Manchester United manager, following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

An announcement could be made on Thursday.

Ferguson, 71, revealed his decision to step down after nearly 27 years at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Fellow Scot Moyes, 50, who has been in charge at Goodison Park since 2002, held talks with Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright on Wednesday evening.

Wigan’s Roberto Martinez and Michael Laudrup of Swansea are thought to top Everton’s list of potential replacements.

Moyes is expected to tell players and staff of his decision to join United at a training ground meeting on Thursday morning.

He could still lead Everton out at Goodison Park against West Ham on Sunday for what would be his final home game in charge.

The former Preston boss was installed as bookmakers’ favourite to become the next United boss following a rush of bets over the weekend, even before speculation mounted about Ferguson’s retirement.

“He’s cut from the same cloth,” said former United captain Steve Bruce.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he got the job and I’m sure he would be very successful.

“He’s not had huge finances but he has still managed to put an Everton team together that comfortably finishes in the top 10.”

Former United assistant manager Steve McClaren also believes Moyes is the right man for the job.

“He’s a winner and has a work ethic similar to Sir Alex,” the ex-England manager told BBC Radio 5 live. “He’s also built a dynasty and legacy at Everton.

“He’s waited many years for this opportunity and I hope he gets it.”

Former England striker Gary Lineker, who presents the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, said Moyes would be a “sensible” appointment.

“It is a great choice for United, but not a great choice for Everton because he will be a great loss to them. It makes the transition easier to get another British and Scottish manager in,” said the ex-Toffees forward.

“He (Moyes) is hugely respected within the game and he will instantly get the respect of the players but it’s the biggest pair of shoes you can follow. It’s intensely difficult and I think the best job at Manchester United is the one after the one after Sir Alex Ferguson because expectations will be so tough.

“It is going to be extraordinarily difficult for the next boss of Manchester United because if it goes wrong the fans will let him know they are missing Sir Alex.

“He will always be judged against someone with phenomenal success, but he will know that anyway. However, you can still see the allure of the job. It is one of the three biggest clubs in the world, so it will always get big names wanting that job.”

Former United defender Gary Neville also backed Moyes as a potential successor to Ferguson.

“I don’t know if he’s going to be appointed, but I would welcome it – it makes sense,” Neville, who won eight league titles at United, told Sky Sports.

But former England striker Alan Shearer believes the appointment of Moyes could be a gamble as he has not won a trophy during 11 years in charge at Everton.

“Anyone who has worked with David Moyes says great things about his man-management and his coaching,” Shearer told BBC Sport.

“The only thing you would say is that he has not won a trophy at Everton.

“But I suppose anyone who goes into Manchester United is a big gamble because it is going to be one heck of a big pair of shoes to fill.”

And former United manager Tommy Docherty said he would “feel sorry” for Moyes should he be appointed.

“If it is David Moyes then I congratulate him and feel sorry for him. How can you follow the impossible?”

BBC Sports