Sir Alex Ferguson has shocked the world of football by announcing he will retire as Manchester United manager at the end of the season – and bwin have immediately installed David Moyes and Jose Mourinho as the favourites to take over at Old Trafford.
After rumours swept around Manchester last night, the club issued a statement this morning confirming that the man who won 13 league titles, ten Community Shields, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions Leagues would leave after the club’s final game of this season away to West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on 19th May.
The 71 year-old said: “The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time.
“It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so. 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 set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.”
So who takes on that bright future? At the moment, Everton boss Moyes is the even-money favourite after an impressive 11-year spell at Goodison Park, just ahead of 11/10 second-favourite Mourinho, who looks certain to leave Real Madrid and return to England in the summer.
All other candidates are at double figure prices. Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp, whose side compete in the Champions Final this month, is 20/1, with Ryan Giggs, Ferguson’s longest serving player, 25/1 and former fan favourite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a 33/1 chance.
Another former player, Laurent Blanc, is 40/1, the same price as current assistant Mike Phelan, while Ferguson’s former assistant Carlos Queiroz and Swansea boss Michael Laudrup are also 40/1.
Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti, Joachim Low and Gary Neville are all 50/1 to replace Ferguson, while Roberto Martinez, Fabio Capello and ex-players Mark Hughes and Eric Cantona are all 66/1.
It is 100/1 bar, and this is sure to be a market that captures the imagination of football fans and punters everywhere.