Ryan Giggs is set to be named as Manchester United’s caretaker manager following David Moyes’ sacking.
United will also try to move quickly to install a permanent replacement for Moyes. It is understood that Holland boss Louis van Gaal is the favourite to take over, but another potential candidate in Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp looks to be out of the picture.
The club confirmed on Tuesday morning that Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor had “left the club” after less than a season in charge.
Moyes endured a miserable time in charge, with Sunday’s 2-0 loss at his former club Everton the latest setback.
Moyes was sacked by vice-chairman Ed Woodward during a meeting at the club’s Carrington training ground this morning shortly after 8am.
The club had previously backed their manager despite a series of dreadful results, but Sunday’s defeat at Goodison Park proved one too many.
With a £150million spending spree planned for the summer the club’s owners, the Glazer family, wanted to make sure they had the right man at the helm to bring success back to Old Trafford.
A statement from the club, released at 8:30am, read: “Manchester United has announced that David Moyes has left the club.
“The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role.”
It is understood that long-serving midfielder Ryan Giggs will be announced as interim manager later on Tuesday.
There will be no shortage of takers when it comes to seeking a successor for Moyes, who turns 51 this Friday.
Louis van Gaal is among the front runners. The former Barcelona manager has an impressive CV and will be available this summer when he leaves his post as Holland coach.
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp is among the fans’ favourites to take over, but the club are understood to favour other candidates.
Diego Simeone is a highly regarded figure in European football after taking Atletico Madrid to the top of the Spanish league and into the semi-finals of the Champions League.
However, many fans would like to see Giggs take the post on a long-term basis, despite his lack of managerial experience.
Moyes slipped into United’s base in Carrington un-noticed on Tuesday morning.
Succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson, who won 13 league titles during his time at the club, was always going to be difficult, but few expected this season to have gone so badly.
The list of unwanted records broken by Moyes is as embarrassing as it is long. United are guaranteed to end the season with their worst points total in Premier League history, they have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in almost two decades while Moyes’ home record is the worst of any United boss since 1978 when Dave Sexton was in charge.
The Red Devils are seventh in the Barclays Premier League with four matches to go, with Europa League qualification now also looking unlikely.
Moyes won 27, drew nine and lost 15 of his 51 games in charge.
The Scot was dogged by claims he was not up to the job ever since he took over last July.
Moyes had enjoyed 11 critically-acclaimed years at Everton, leading the club to five top-six finishes. The Toffees qualified for the Champions League for the first time under Moyes’ stewardship - although they lost in the qualifying stages of the competition - and he also took the Merseyside club to the FA Cup final in 2009.
But all those achievements were small fry compared to what his predecessor achieved.
The enormity of the task in hand seemed to overwhelm Moyes from day one.
Moyes upset some within the club by bringing in his own coaching staff, while the likes of Rene Meulensteen, Eric Steele, and Mike Phelan departed.
Moyes also botched his first transfer window as United boss. The Scot pursued Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas when the Spaniard had no intention of leaving the SpaniSh giants.
Thiago Alcantara joined Bayern Munich ahead of United, while the club made a real hash of their attempts to sign Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines on the cheap.
United’s bid of £28million for the pair was branded “derisory and insulting” by Everton.
Baines stayed and United ended up buying Fellaini for £27.5million when they could have bought him for £4million less had they acted quicker.
Moyes rarely looked comfortable in front of the cameras, and for that reason many felt Jose Mourinho, who left Real Madrid to rejoin Chelsea last summer, would have been a better option.
United’s mountainous debt pile and wage bill meant its owners could ill afford to give David Moyes the same amount of time to succeed as his predecessor Alex Ferguson, it was claimed today.
The costly failure to qualify for the Champions League and potential longer-term impact on the value of sponsorship deals added to pressure on the bottom line of a business that has recorded growing pre-tax losses for the last two years.
Investors in the club, whose shares are publicly traded on the New York stock exchange, may even already have “priced in” the assumption that Moyes would leave.
Shares had fallen to around 14.50 US dollars (£8.60) a couple of months ago but were already back up to 18 US dollars (£10.70) ahead of today - a similar level to where they were when his appointment was announced last year.
Manchester United is labouring under the weight of vast debts, which were reported as £389.2 million in June, and which cost the club £70.8 million to service over the course of the financial year. Meanwhile wages were up 12% to £180.5 million.
Pre-tax losses were £8.8 million, up from £4.7 million in the year ended June 2012. The club reported a pre-tax profit of £12 million the year before that.
Here, we pick out the lowest points from Moyes’ dismal short reign at the Old Trafford helm.
September 1 - United suffer first defeat under Moyes as Daniel Sturridge gives Liverpool victory at Anfield. Wayne Rooney misses the game with a nasty head wound after being kicked in the head accidentally by Phil Jones in training.
September 22 - Hammered 4-1 at Manchester City. This time Robin van Persie is absent with a thigh injury.
September 28 - United lose 2-1 at home to West Brom, ending the Baggies’ 35-year wait for an Old Trafford triumph.
October 19 - Concede last-minute Adam Lallana equaliser against Southampton at Old Trafford.
December 4 - Bryan Oviedo scores four minutes from time as Moyes’ former club Everton end their 21-year wait for an away win over United.
December 6 - Rio Ferdinand criticises Moyes’ policy of leaving it late to pick his teams, claiming on BT Sport: ‘’It turns you into a madman.’’
December 7 - Yohan Cabaye gets the only goal as Newcastle win at Old Trafford for the first time since 1972.
December 10 - Van Persie suffers thigh injury taking a corner against Shakhtar Donetsk, and is ruled out for seven weeks.
January 1 - Rooney plays in the defeat by Tottenham but is then ruled out for four weeks with a groin injury.
January 5 - Swansea win at Old Trafford for the first time as Wilfried Bony’s late goal sends United out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage for only the second time in 30 years.
January 7 - Defeat in Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at Sunderland means a third straight loss for the first time since May 2001.
January 19 - Skipper Nemanja Vidic is sent off as United crash to defeat at Chelsea.
January 22 - United beat Sunderland 2-1 in the Capital One Cup semi-final return leg thanks to Javier Hernandez’s last-gasp effort in extra-time but come off worst in an awful penalty shoot-out, with only Darren Fletcher scoring from their five kicks.
February 1 - Stoke end their long wait for a win against United. Charlie Adam’s double gives them their first since 1984.
February 7 - Vidic confirms he will leave at the end of the season.
February 9 - United come from behind to lead bottom side Fulham at Old Trafford, but Darren Bent’s stoppage-time equaliser settles a 2-2 draw to deny the hosts all three points. Moyes describes the result as being “as bad as it gets”.
February 25 - It proves gruesome in Greece for United in the Champions League last 16 as a poor performance sees the Red Devils beaten 2-0 by Olympiacos in Piraeus.
March 16 - Another day United will want to forget in a hurry as two Steven Gerrard penalties and a Luis Suarez strike earns Liverpool a crushing 3-0 win at Old Trafford. It could have been even worse for Moyes’ men as Gerrard also hit the post with another penalty.
March 25 - United lose 3-0 to bitter rivals for the second consecutive home league game as a brace from Edin Dzeko and a late strike from Yaya Toure hands Manchester City a derby double over their city rivals. The result ensured United were guaranteed to end the season with their lowest points total in Premier League history.
April 9 - Despite an encouraging 1-1 draw in the first leg and taking the lead through Patrice Evra, the Red Devils go down 3-1 to defending champions Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the Allianz Arena.
April 20 - Moyes’ return to Goodison Park is turned into a nightmare as a Leighton Baines penalty and a goal from Kevin Mirallas hand Everton a 2-0 win, a result which means United cannot qualify for the Champions League.
April 22 - Moyes is sacked by United.