Sir Alex Ferguson set to leave United?

According to several British newspapers, Sir Alex Ferguson is seriously considering retiring from Manchester United.

The Daily Telegraph first quoted unnamed sources when reporting that a team outing had been "overshadowed" by suggestions that the 71-year-old manager was seriously considering stepping aside from the Premier League club. Ferguson, who had a heart pacemaker fitted in 2004, is set undergo hip surgery this August, and his health has raised fresh questions over whether or not he wishes to continue in his role.

Ferguson sealed Manchester United’s 20th top-flight title this month and his thirteenth overall since he took charge of the club. The Scottish manager addressed his future with the Old Trafford club after stories emerged on Saturday about his physical condition.

"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."

With news of Ferguson’s reported retirement, British bookmakers have designated Everton manager David Moyes as the favorite to succeed Ferguson next season. Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp are also rumored as possible candidates.

Sky Bet Football Trader Chris Spicer said: "We saw a surge of backing for David Moyes to be the next Manchester United manager on Saturday despite no real noises surrounding Ferguson’s future but, with a national paper now reporting that an announcement could be made before the end of the week, Mourinho is now attracting the majority of the money.

"The ‘Special One’ looked destined to return to Stamford Bridge, but if the job at Old Trafford became vacant then his head could be turned."

United’s press department could not be reached to confirm or deny the story.’s wire services contributed to this report.