Sir Alex Ferguson could be ready to go out on top.
The Manchester United manager is considering retiring after this season, and he could make an announcement as early as this week, the Telegraph reports.
Ferguson, 71, has been United’s manager since 1986. The Red Devils clinched the 2012-13 Premier League title last month — their 13th under the legendary United boss.
It was thought that Ferguson would remain in charge for at least another season (perhaps grooming David Moyes to become his successor), but rumors saying he would step down immediately have gathered steam this week.
United’s press office has not commented on the reports. The club is partially listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and rules require it to promptly disclose information about changes to its management.
“With United now forced to adhere to the strict rules and regulations of the New York Stock Exchange in terms of the release of significant information relating to the running of the club following last August’s partial flotation, any change of management would fall within those requirements,” the Telegraph reports.
“As of Tuesday night, no statement over Ferguson’s future had been issued by United.
“However, with sources close to the players confirming that the squad’s golf day had been overshadowed by suggestions that the Scot would be making an announcement ahead of Sunday’s clash with Swansea at Old Trafford, any ongoing uncertainty is unlikely to be allowed to continue to the point where it would affect the confidence of investors and, in turn, United’s New York share price.”
Ferguson has been bullish about United’s future prospects in recent weeks. In his program notes ahead of last Sunday’s game against Chelsea, Ferguson said he looked forward to leading United into a new era of dominance.
“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,” Ferguson wrote.
“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.”
The has often said his health would be a deciding factor in deciding when to retire. He will reportedly have an operation on his hip during the offseason, and some expect the procedure to keep him off the sidelines until September (next season starts in mid-August).
Few would have foreseen Ferguson walking away after winning the title in such emphatic fashion, but that appears to be a possibility.