Several British newspapers are reporting that Sir Alex Ferguson is contemplating retirement after 27 seasons as the manager for Manchester United. The 71-year-old is said to be seriously considering stepping away and would go out on a high note, as Man U. wrapped up it’s 20th Premier League title recently.
On Saturday rumors persisted that there was some physical ailment holding Ferguson back, but there has been no confirmation either way on that.
Ferguson addressed his future with the following statement:
“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.
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 and believe we have every reason to feel confident about the future of Manchester United.”
The Scotsman had a pacemaker fitted in 2004 and will undergo hip surgery in August. Those could be reasons for him to finally step aside. If he does decide to finally ride off into the sunset, several candidates have already emerged to replace him.
British bookmakers seem to think that Everton manager David Moyes is the favorite to replace Ferguson. But don’t count out Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho. Mourinho appeared all set to return to Chelsea, but if United has an opening he will definitely pump the breaks and listen. He and Ferguson have always had a great relationship and I’m sure Mourinho would consider it an honor to succeed his friend.
United’s press department has yet to comment on the story. At some point Ferguson has to retire, and it might be best for the squad if he steps away after a league title (his 13th with the club). With a great candidate like Mourinho available, it would make perfect sense.