Ferguson has decided that the young Glaswegian, rated one of the game's brightest prospects, is the ideal replacement for Brian Kidd. The Old Trafford manager has worked on his own since Kidd left for Blackburn and thinks the time is right to recruit a new assistant. He feels the workload is too much for him alone and wants a vibrant young coach who can take training.
Moyes has earned widespread admiration as a result of Preston's challenge for promotion and their FA Cup encounter with Arsenal last week. He celebrates his first anniversary as manager today.
The workaholic manager has been embarrassed by questions about the United link, first revealed by the Independent in December, but would obviously be interested in the post. North End are bound to fight to keep him, however and could demand a large compensation figure.
Ferguson has admired Moyes for years. He has been a qualified coach from his early 20s and captained all the clubs he played for. Moyes would also have the respect of the players as he has made a successful start to his managerial career. He is also a former team-mate of David Beckham - the England midfielder was at Preston on loan in 1994-95.
Another problem for Ferguson to deal with may be the disaffection of Teddy Sheringham, who has complained of being unhappy languishing on the sidelines. The England striker has made six starts for United this season, and was not even on the bench for the win over West Ham on Sunday.
"The manager has four of us, which makes it difficult for me," he said. "I'm not sure it is even a rotation system and, to be honest, I'm not coping well with not playing regularly in the first team. A footballer wants to play football and when he doesn't get a game he is unhappy, and I am no different."