• Moyes replacing Sir Alex Ferguson on six-year contract
• ‘I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me’
Manchester United have confirmed David Moyes has been appointed as their new manager on a six-year contract. The 50-year-old will join officially on 1 July after completing the season with Everton.
Moyes has the backing of Sir Alex Ferguson, who confirmed his retirement on Wednesday, and his first official game will be the Community Shield against either Manchester City or Wigan at Wembley on 11 August.
Moyes said: “It’s a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United. I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. I have great respect for everything he has done and for the football club.
“I know how hard it will be to follow the best manager ever, but the opportunity to manage Manchester United isn’t something that comes around very often and I’m really looking forward to taking up the post next season.
“I have had a terrific job at Everton, with a tremendous chairman and board of directors and a great set of players. Between now and the end of the season, I will do everything in my power to make sure we finish as high as possible in the table.
“Everton’s fantastic fans have played a big part in making my years at Goodison so enjoyable and I thank them wholeheartedly for the support they have given me and the players. Everton will be close to me for the rest of my life.”
Manchester United Facebook
Moyes went through the formalities of his departure at the club’s Finch Farm training base on Thursday morning, having returned from Merseyside after watching Chelsea draw 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.
Sir Alex Ferguson said: “When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes we unanimously agreed on David Moyes. David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic.
“I’ve admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of assistant manager here. He was a young man then at the start of his career and has since gone on to do a magnificent job at Everton. There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club.”
Everton confirmed Moyes had told the chairman, Bill Kenwright, of his desire to succeed Ferguson, and paid tribute to an outstanding manager.”
The statement added: “During his tenure at Goodison Park, David has taken charge of the team on over 500 occasions including four European campaigns. His final two games as Everton manager will be the remaining Premier League matches against West Ham United and Chelsea. Everton officials will start the search for a replacement manager immediately.”
Moyes leaves Everton having never won a trophy since taking over in 2002. But he stabilised the club and in more than a decade Everton finished outside the top 10 twice, qualified for the Champions League once, and reached an FA Cup final.
One of the manager’s first tasks will be to address Wayne Rooney’s disquiet. Two weeks ago the striker had a meeting at the club during which Rooney asked Ferguson if he could leave United in the close season due to his desire to have a fresh start. The outgoing manager told him this was not an option and that he still saw Rooney’s future at United. Rooney’s spokesman declined to comment on Thursday morning.
While United stated publicly on Wednesday evening that Rooney is not for sale, whether Moyes’s arrival will change his mind is yet to be seen. The Liverpudlian is unhappy following an uneven season in which he has been played out of position in midfield and dropped for United’s biggest match, the Champions League last-16 second leg meeting with Real Madrid at Old Trafford in February.
Sir Bobby Charlton, now a club director, said of the appointment: “I have always said that we wanted the next manager to be a genuine Manchester United man. In David Moyes, we have someone who understands the things that make this such a special club. We have secured a man who is committed to the long-term and will build teams for the future as well as now. Stability breeds success.
“David has tremendous strength of character and recognises the importance of bringing young players through and developing them alongside world class talent. At United, I think David will be able to express himself. I’m delighted he has accepted and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
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