Everton boss David Moyes has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager and an appointment is expected by the end of this week.
The other leading contender, Jose Mourinho, is not a candidate for the position, senior sources have confirmed. Ferguson announced on Wednesday that he is retiring as manager after nearly 27 years in charge at Old Trafford.
Sources have told Press Association Sport that Ferguson's successor will be cut from the same cloth as him - with a similar passion for playing attractive football, bringing in top-class players and a strong record in youth development. United will be looking to the long term with the appointment, rather than a quick fix.
Moyes, 50, may not have won any trophies in his 11 years at Everton but fellow Scot Ferguson himself is a fan of his achievements - and Moyes is out of contract at the end of the season.
Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen said he would choose the Everton boss.
Owen, the former Liverpool striker who played under Ferguson for two seasons, said on Twitter: "What an act to follow. I guess only Mourinho would have the confidence to strut through the door. If it were me, I'd go for Moyes."
Mourinho has made it clear he will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and he expected to be appointed by his former club Chelsea.
Former United keeper Peter Schmeichel also believes that Moyes would be the best candidate to succeed Ferguson, and he told Sky Sports News: "What we are looking for is, not someone to come in 10 months or three years, we want someone to come stay there and give stability.
"When we talk about Moyes, he has been a decade at Everton and done a fantastic job on limited funds. Is he cut from the same cloth? I dont know.
"Don't forget there will be major changes with David Gill stepping down - the club is really changing in the summer, the more stability they can add the better. David Moyes, he sounds like a good solution."