- Associated Press - Thursday, May 9, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (AP) - Manchester United will attempt to make a smooth transition when Alex Ferguson leaves the dugout for the last time this month, with David Moyes expected to take over the managerial reins.

The Everton manager has never won a major trophy in his coaching career, but has long been championed by his fellow Scotsman at United.

And Moyes quickly emerged as the front-runner to assume one of the soccer’s most coveted jobs within hours of the 71-year-old Ferguson announcing his retirement on Wednesday after nearly 27 trophy-filled years in charge at Old Trafford.

Moyes held talks late Wednesday about his future with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, who did nothing to quash the expectation that his manager with be defecting across the northwest.

David’s contract is up in six weeks’ time and he has the right to make his own decisions,” Kenwright told Sky Sports television. “He has served this club wonderfully well.”

The 50-year-old Moyes has shown loyalty and staying power in his 11 years with Everton _ attributes that should go down well at United, which is trying to maintain stability at the club and avoid any radical changes to the structure after Ferguson steps up to the boardroom when the season ends.

United chief executive David Gill has stressed the need to maintain the promotion of young talent without Ferguson’s successor making wholesale changes to a squad that has just produced the club’s 20th English title.

“In our two most successful eras _ with Sir Matt Busby (1945-1969) and then Sir Alex _ we had managers there who sort of got involved with the whole aspects of the club, whether it be from the youth team aspects, obviously up to the first team, all the aspects of it,” Gill said.

“And that degree of loyalty … is crucial to the success of Manchester United.”

Ferguson has appeared to anoint Moyes, a three-time manager of the year, as his successor, impressed by Moyes‘ grittiness and determination.

Moyes made the transition into management at Preston North End in 1998 and gained promotion to the League Championship two years later.

The former Celtic player moved to Everton in 2002 and turned the Merseyside club from a relegation contender into a regular qualifier for Europe. In 2005, he even guided the club into the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.

Ferociously ambitious with a keen eye for emerging talent like Ferguson, Moyes has maintained Everton as a force near the top of the Premier League despite struggling with a lack of cash to invest in players.

That’s why, according to Ferguson, Moyes should not be judged on his inability to turn Everton into a force in England or Europe.

David has had to contend with not having a strong financial structure,” Ferguson said last year. “He has to get the best out of the players he has had available.”

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