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Sir Alex Ferguson dismisses Man Utd retirement rumours

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson said he does not expect to continue in management past 70

Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed rumours he will retire as Manchester United boss at the end of next season.

The 68-year-old has been United manager for over 23 years but last year said he would step down if his health or hunger for the job ever deteriorated.

Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho and Everton manager David Moyes have been touted as potential successors.

But Ferguson said ahead of United's crucial game against Tottenham: "It is rubbish, there is no truth in it."

Since joining United from Aberdeen in November 1986, Ferguson has become the most decorated coach in British football.

He has won the Premier League title 11 times, the FA Cup on five occasions, four League Cup finals, two Champions League triumphs as well as the now defunct European Cup Winners' Cup.

Although Ferguson said last year he was in the "penalty shoot-out" of his career, he has no desire to step down in the immediate future.

"I have no intention of retiring and if I did the people I would tell are (chief executive) David Gill and the Glazer family," said Ferguson, who almost retired in 2002 but subsequently changed his mind.

"As I have said time and time again, the only that determines my staying here is my health and unfortunately for you lot (the media), I'm in rude health!

Sir Alex has more energy than any of us here. He drives the club on

Man Utd reserve team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

"So you'll be left to suffer me for many more years. You'll be gone before I'm gone, don't you worry!"

Arsene Wenger, Ferguson's long-term rival at Arsenal, said he was not surprised by the Scot's seemingly endless appetite for life at the sharp end of the game.

"I was not surprised at all," said Wenger.

"You see the way he acts and manages his team that the hunger is still there. That's something that doesn't die in you but when you get older you have to analyse and consider your health - but at the minute I can't see any problems.

"I'm looking forward to a few more games against him. It's always interesting and I believe this year has been very, very tight and I'm confident we'll do a few more years."

Former United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, now a reserve team coach at Old Trafford, said Ferguson was showing no signs of slowing down.

"He is very enthusiastic," said Sokskjaer.

"Sir Alex has more energy than any of us here. He drives the club on. His winning mentality and the hunger he has is just unbelievable.

"That rubs off on the players and the coaches and is why we hope he stays for a long time."

Ferguson's priority remains the Premier League, where United trail leaders Chelsea by a point.

His team face an all-important encounter against Champions League hopefuls Tottenham on Saturday at Old Trafford, where a victory would temporarily propel United above Carlo Ancelotti's side, who face Stoke on Sunday.

Ferguson's potential successor has been a source of constant speculation, with ex-United assistant coach Carlos Queiroz also linked with the job alongside Mourinho and Moyes.

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Former Chelsea boss Mourinho recently expressed his dissatisfaction with Italian football, sparking rumours the Portuguese could be in line for a dramatic return to English football with the current Premier League champions.

Like Ferguson, Moyes hails from Glasgow and has won many admirers for his impressive work during his eight years at Everton.

The Toffees have finished in the top six of the Premier League in four of the past five seasons and he was voted manager of the year by fellow bosses in 2003 and 2005.

However, the 46-year-old dismissed speculation linking him with the Old Trafford job as "nonsense".

"It was Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce and Roy Keane being mentioned not long ago," said the former Preston boss.

"When my players are linked with clubs it annoys me. So I don't want to go into any of it. But as far as I'm concerned this is a load of nonsense.

"What I will say is I think it will be a terrible day when Sir Alex does finish. He is someone all the football managers look up to, they all respect him.

"Even when he's fighting them, he still has the humility to have a drink with them at the end of the game.

"And he still has the dignity to phone them if they are sacked or out of work. There's a lot of that from his Glasgow roots."



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see also
Man Utd 3-1 Tottenham
24 Apr 10 |  Premier League
Lennon set to make Spurs return
23 Apr 10 |  Tottenham
Ferguson reveals retirement fears
07 Mar 09 |  Man Utd
Fifty years of Fergie in football
12 Nov 08 |  Man Utd
We can handle pressure - Ferguson
04 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Ferguson has no retirement plan
07 Mar 08 |  Man Utd
Ferguson not planning retirement
26 Dec 05 |  Man Utd
Ferguson dampens retirement talk
27 Nov 05 |  Man Utd


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