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The Sport Matrix: Thursday 09 May 2013

Moyes in line to replace Ferguson as United look for smooth transition

Manchester United's appointment of David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor could be concluded as early as today, after weeks of work under a cloak of secrecy by the club to ensure a smooth transition at Old Trafford.

Ferguson's decision to retire, bringing the curtain down on an extraordinary 26 years at United, was confirmed at 9.15am yesterday, the Scot's one last frustration with the national print media being that it beat the club to news that Old Trafford had planned to announce at 10am.

Moyes' move leaves Roberto Martinez, former Everton player Mark Hughes – whose agent Kia Joorabchian has close links to club chairman Bill Kenwright – and Martin O'Neill as potential successors at Goodison.

But it also leaves Everton aggrieved that United have not approached them directly about the imminent appointment. Moyes is understood only to have told his chairman Bill Kenwright at 1.30pm yesterday.

He did not discuss his appointment with Everton's players and travelled to London with his brother and agent, Kenny, meeting Kenwright at his London offices before watching Chelsea play Tottenham Hotspur last night. MORE

Charlton leads Fergie tributes

Sir Bobby Charlton yesterday paid tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson, admitting he had positive rather than negative feelings regarding his departure. "I should have been devastated. In fact I was happy. I was pleased that he had chosen his moment," he said. MORE

Spirited Spurs earn point at Chelsea

Tottenham twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last night, leaving them one point off the top four. Oscar and Ramires scored for the hosts either side of Emmanuel Adebayor's strike, but Gylfi Sigurdsson levelled with 10 minutes left. MORE

Wiggins fails to make up difference

Team Sky's Sir Bradley Wiggins failed to make up any time on leader Luca Paolini in yesterday's Giro d'Italia fifth stage. John Degenkolb won it after a crash in the final kilometre, leaving the German rider free to pass Marco Canola in the final 300 metres. MORE

Root leads Lions but stays grounded

Yorkshire batsman Joe Root, 22, will lead England Lions against New Zealand today at the start of what may prove to be a long learning curve in the art of captaincy. "I will always try to stay the same bloke I have been and that shouldn't really change at all," he said. MORE

McIlroy looks for first win of the year

World No 2 Rory McIlroy will look for his first title of 2013 today as the Players Championship gets underway at Sawgrass. Historically a tough tournament for McIlroy, he has failed to make the cut in each of his three appearances. MORE

Robson splits with trainer Krajan

Laura Robson has parted company with Croatian coach Zeljko Krajan after only nine months. The 19-year-old decided to split before the Madrid Masters, where she defeated Agnieszka Radwanska before facing Ana Ivanovic last night.

IRB look to clean up scrum process

The International Rugby Board will look to clean up the game by tackling issues with the scrum. In September a worldwide trial will test a new engagement process in which props will bind on their opponents' arm before the scrum is set.

Robshaw rested for England tour

Chris Robshaw has been left out of England's 32-man squad for June's three-match tour to Uruguay and Argentina. The flanker is not the only big name to be rested, with Chris Ashton and Toby Flood also being left out to recuperate. MORE

FA Cup could be Pantilimon finale

Goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon admits the FA Cup Final against Wigan may be his last appearance for Manchester City. The Romanian, who will play ahead of Joe Hart, may leave City to find regular football. MORE

James Lawton

Football without Ferguson, we have reason to believe, is going to be like tonic without gin, soda without Scotch. It is a cocktail separated from one of its biggest kicks. But the kick, we must ask, of what? MORE

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