Moyes, Mourinho early favourites to replace Alex Ferguson

Last Updated: Wed, May 08, 2013 12:21 hrs

London: Bookmakers were quick to install Everton manager David Moyes as the favourite to replace Alex Ferguson, who announced he was stepping down as boss of Manchester United on Wednesday after more than 26 trophy-laden years in charge.

Moyes was made odds-on favourite with a host of British bookmakers shortly after Ferguson's announcement, made via a statement on the club's website, with those odds continuing to drop.

Fellow Scot Moyes has built a steady career in over a decade at the Merseyside club, continually overachieving on a much smaller budget than their rivals.

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho was also heavily backed for the role.

The Portuguese had been strongly linked with a move back to former club Chelsea in the close season after public spats with his players in Spain has made his exit appear inevitable.

Both Moyes and Mourinho are known for having strong relationships with Ferguson, who will become a club director and ambassador after his last match in charge against West Bromwich Albion on May 19.

A number of Ferguson's former Manchester United players also made the bookmakers lists.

Gary Neville (40/1), Eric Cantona (66/1), Laurent Blanc (50/1), Roy Keane (100/1) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (25/1) were among them, while current midfield duo Ryan Giggs (25/1) and Paul Scholes (50/1) were also listed.

Current assistant Mike Phelan was priced as low as 25/1 with one bookmaker while former aide Carlos Queiroz, now in charge of Iran, was 50/1.

Ferguson's son Darren, who presided over Peterborough United's relegation from the English Championship (second division) to League One on Saturday, was considered a big outsider at 250/1.

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