Manchester United have lost patience with David Moyes and are preparing to sack the Scot, club sources have told ESPN FC.
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United initially did not deny the reports when contacted by ESPN FC, but later insisted that the manager had "definitely" not been sacked. However, senior officials at the club have said privately that the sacking is “imminent.”
The sources claimed that the club’s owners, the Glazer family, have been contemplating sacking Moyes since the FA Cup defeat to Swansea City on Jan. 5 and have taken a much more active interest in the matter in the wake of Sunday’s performance.
Meetings took place throughout Monday morning over the manager, with several players said to be disillusioned with his leadership.
ESPN FC reported last month that Moyes, who was appointed Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor on a six-year contract in the summer, had lost the faith of key boardroom figures and his position was under serious threat.
The doubts increased significantly after a defeat at Everton that not only leaves the club unable to qualify for next season’s Champions League but raised serious questions over the players’ commitment to their manager.
The Telegraph, which broke the news of Ferguson’s retirement last season, reported on Monday: “The 50-year-old’s reign could end before Saturday’s Old Trafford encounter with Norwich City if he chooses to seek assurances over his future, which executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is unlikely to be able to offer.”
The Mail said the Glazers and Woodward believe the players have “stopped trying for their manager” and added: “It is understood that the plan now is to sack Moyes at the end of the season but the situation could now come to a head later on Monday or in the coming days. If the former Everton boss is sacked before the season’s end, club legend Ryan Giggs will be asked to take over team affairs.”
The Guardian, meanwhile, said high-level discussions had taken place as to whether Moyes was the right man to spend the 150 million pounds that is available to be invested into the squad this summer.
Following the match at Everton, Moyes said: “They [the supporters] realise it has been a difficult season. They understand it has not been good. I recognise it has not been good -- it needs to be better. Everybody knows that we are on track to make changes and do some different things. We are rebuilding. We have got things we want to do.”
United will finish the campaign with their lowest-ever Premier League points total, having lost 11 of their 34 games so far.