Most of the time when an English newspaper writes that it’s going to drop a massive “exclusive” about soccer the ensuing contents should be taken with a firm grain of salt. There are so many false rumors, rumours as it were, tossed around which never come to fruition the best bet is to air on the side of caution as to what you believe.
Late Tuesday (U.K. time) the generally respected Telegraph reported that Sir Alex Ferguson is strongly considering retiring from Manchester United by the end of the week in a story filed by Mark Ogden.
[UPDATE: A few hours after this post went up, Ferguson announced his retirement.]
There aren’t any direct quotes from Ferguson or an official statement from the club itself. The story instead relies on “sources” saying talk of Ferguson’s possible announcement overshadowed the club’s off-day golf outing. (Total, bummer.)
Earlier this month the 71-year-old Ferguson said he’ll have surgery on his hip in late July that could cause him to miss the start of the 2013-14 Premier League season.
The Scot has been at Manchester United since 1986, winning the Premier League trophy 13 times including this season, the FA Cup five times and the Champions League twice.
Like him or loathe him, the man is an absolute titan in the world of soccer. Should this news be true — and sooner or later Ferguson is going to retire since he isn’t a gum-chewing, red-faced cyborg — the Premier League will never be quite the same.
It would make sense for him to retire on the high of winning the Premier League title back from rival Manchester City. There’s nothing left for him to accomplish anyways. Unless Phil Jones evolves into some sort of Roy Keane/Xavi hybrid, winning the Champions League for a third time seems a bridge way too far for Ferguson.
What’s interesting is how many different wheels are in motion at the moment.
Jose Mourinho is all but gone from Real Madrid, especially after his Iker Casillas diss earlier this week. Everybody has linked the Portuguese manager to return to Chelsea … but if the United job were to open up, it might be impossible for Mourinho to resist.
If anyone out there would relish stepping into Ferguson’s place in the Old Trafford dugout, it’s The Special One.
[Via the Telegraph]