Fergie ponders retirement - reports
Published 07/05/2013 | 23:36
Sir Alex Ferguson is reportedly considering his position as manager of Manchester United.
A number of Wednesday's national newspapers claim the 71-year-old is ready to stand down, bringing an end to his hugely successful 26-and-a-half years at the helm.
The club were not available for comment when contacted by Press Association Sport on Tuesday night.
Only this past weekend, writing in his programme notes to preview Sunday's Barclays Premier League defeat by Chelsea, Ferguson insisted he was intent on carrying on indefinitely.
In the wake of securing his 13th league title - and 20th overall for the club - he said: "This team of champions is not going 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 decade of success 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 to see."
There have nevertheless been signs in recent times to suggest Ferguson's days at the United helm might be numbered. Last week, United privately confirmed Ferguson had been booked in for hip surgery in August, after the club's pre-season tour, which involves trips to Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.
The timing of the operation appeared strange, especially as it is believed he could have undergone the procedure immediately following the end of this season. Then on Monday, bookmakers slashed the odds on David Moyes replacing Ferguson amid reports the Everton manager would spend a season as his fellow Scot's assistant.
None of these stories have triggered any official comment from the club, who, as a partially floated company, are bound by US Stock Exchange rules and will surely be required to confirm the position in due course given Ferguson's significance.
If Ferguson does leave, he would do so as Britain's most successful manager, having claimed his 49th piece of silverware with this season's title win.