London - Manchester United have said on Monday that David Moyes had not been sacked
as manager, but refused to comment on widespread British media reports
that he was about to be fired.
A spokesperson from United told AFP in an email: "David Moyes has definitely not been sacked!"
when journalists asked the club if he would leave before the end of the
season, they were told: "We do not comment on speculation."
national newspapers claimed that United have decided to sack Moyes
after a wretched debut campaign, while Sky Sports News declared that he
could lose his job "within the next 24 hours".
Meanwhile, leading British bookmakers stopped taking bets on Moyes being fired.
Sky Bet cut their odds on Moyes leaving United before the end of May to 1/4 from 9/4, before suspending betting.
installed United great Ryan Giggs, currently a player-coach at Old
Trafford, as the 5/1 favourite to replace Moyes before they, too,
suspended betting on their 'Next manager to leave' market.
about Moyes's future intensified following Sunday's 2-0 loss at Everton
-- the Scot's former club -- which condemned reigning champions United
to their 11th defeat of the season and meant they could no longer
qualify for the Champions League.
Moyes was the chosen successor
of former United boss Alex Ferguson -- British football's most
successful manager -- following his retirement at the end of last
But Moyes has endured a torrid first season at Old
Trafford, with United falling to seventh place in the Premier League and
being knocked out of both domestic cup competitions.
the quarter-finals of the Champions League, where they lost to holders
Bayern Munich, but will not compete in the competition next season for
the first time since 1995.
United's owners, the US-based Glazer family, have so far been supportive.
though, have now surfaced over whether they will allow Moyes to oversee
the club's final four matches of the season, against Norwich City,
Sunderland, Hull City and Southampton.
Earlier on Monday, Moyes told MUTV, United's in-house television station: "We need to end the season on a high.
"We want to finish by winning all of our games. We'll do everything we possibly can to make that happen."
Madrid coach Diego Simeone was one name identified as a potential
successor to Moyes in British media reports, but he refused to discuss
the speculation on Monday.
Speaking before the first leg of his
side's Champions League semi-final at home to Chelsea, he told a press
conference: "With all due respect to the question, and I understand the
situation, but the match tomorrow is a very important match for us and I
am not thinking about anything which is not my players and Chelsea."
received backing from Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who said the home
fans at Goodison had been wrong to boo the club's former manager during
"We have brilliant fans, but that was unfair on him," Howard said of Moyes, who spent 11 years at Everton.
a development that created fresh uncertainty at the club, reports
emerged on Sunday that forward Danny Welbeck is considering his future
at United due to a lack of game time this season.
Mata, United's record £37.1 million
signing, apologised to fans for the team's performance at Everton on his
"What the Premiership table shows now is something that neither the club nor the fans deserve," he wrote.
"I hope the next game comes as soon as possible because, as you can imagine, this bad taste makes me mad."
Sunday's match, Moyes said "rank" and "rotten" defending had led to
Everton's two goals; a penalty converted by Leighton Baines and a goal
scored by Kevin Mirallas.
It was a point emphasised by United's former Everton striker, Wayne Rooney.
conceded two really sloppy goals, which we need to cut out because
we're making it hard for ourselves to get back into games," Rooney said.
"For the second one, we should have stopped the counter-attack. They ran in behind us. It's not good enough."