Manchester United have confirmed the news that everyone already knew - David Moyes will be the club's new manager.
A statement from the Premier League champions revealed that the current Everton boss has signed a six-year deal and will take the helm on 1 July. His first official match in charge will be the Community Shield against either Manchester City or Wigan at Wembley on August 11.
The statement added that the decision to appoint Moyes had been made unanimously by the board on the recommendation of departing manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Moyes said: "It's a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United.
"I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. I have great respect for everything he has done and for the football club.
"I know how hard it will be to follow the best manager ever, but the opportunity to manage Manchester United isn't something that comes around very often and I'm really looking forward to taking up the post next season.
With Moyes committed to concluding the season at Everton, he will not be introduced as United manager until after the campaign is over.
"I have had a terrific job at Everton, with a tremendous chairman and board of directors and a great set of players," he added.
"Between now and the end of the season, I will do everything in my power to make sure we finish as high as possible in the table.
"Everton's fantastic fans have played a big part in making my years at Goodison so enjoyable and I thank them wholeheartedly for the support they have given me and the players.
"Everton will be close to me for the rest of my life."
Having decided to end his near 27-year stint at United this summer, Ferguson quickly came to the conclusion his fellow countryman would be the right man to follow.
"When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes, we unanimously agreed on David Moyes," said Ferguson.
"David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic.
"I've admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of assistant manager here.
"He was a young man then at the start of his career and has since gone on to do a magnificent job at Everton.
"There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club."
The length of the deal is certain to be a point of discussion. Handing Moyes such a long contract is a sign of United's desire for continuity and a smooth transition following the departure of Ferguson who has managed the club for over 26 years. It also reflects the belief the club must have in the 50-year-old Glaswegian.
"I have always said that we wanted the next manager to be a genuine Manchester United man," said Sir Bobby Charlton.
"In David Moyes, we have someone who understands the things that make this such a special club.
"We have secured a man who is committed to the long-term and will build teams for the future as well as now. Stability breeds success.
"David has tremendous strength of character and recognises the importance of bringing young players through and developing them alongside world class talent.
"At United, I think David will be able to express himself.
"I am delighted he has accepted and I'm looking forward to working with him."
The statement from Charlton offers a clear indication why Moyes was selected ahead of fellow contender Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese coach has failed to stick with any club for more than a couple of years - a situation that would not have fulfilled the requirements laid out by United.
With long-serving chief executive David Gill also leaving in the summer, it means a massive change at Old Trafford.
But Woodward is confident the enormous success Ferguson has brought to United will continue.
"In David Moyes, we have secured the services of an outstanding manager who has all the skills to build on the phenomenal legacy in place today," he said.
"I have no doubt that he will bring an energy and commitment to deliver winning football that is part of the fabric of this club.
"In this respect, he is cut from the same cloth as the Old Trafford greats who go before him.
"I have been very impressed by David's personal and managerial traits, which reflect the Manchester United values.
"I have no doubt that he will embrace, and soon become an integral part of, United's unique culture and heritage."
Everton earlier confirmed on their official Twitter account that Moyes was leaving the club at the end of the current season.
Everton's Twitter page was updated with the line: "OFFICIAL: Everton can confirm that David Moyes will leave the Club at the end of the season."
A statement on Everton's official website read: "Everton can confirm that David Moyes will leave the Club at the end of the season.
"The Manager met Chairman Bill Kenwright early yesterday evening (Wednesday 8th May) and confirmed his desire to join Manchester United.
"The Chairman, on behalf of the Club, would like to place on record his thanks to David for the massive contribution he has made to Everton since his arrival in March 2002. He has been an outstanding Manager.
"During his tenure at Goodison Park, David has taken charge of the team on over 500 occasions including four European campaigns.
"His final two games as Everton Manager will be the remaining Premier League matches against West Ham United and Chelsea. Everton officials will start the search for a replacement manager immediately."
Earlier today a hasty club operative at Manchester United broke the news on Manchester United's Facebook page.
The club jumped the gun and put the information on their site, posting the message "send your personal welcome to our new manager David Moyes" to a following in excess of 33 million worldwide, before hastily taking it down.
The appointment of Moyes follows weeks of work under a cloak of secrecy by the club to ensure a smooth transition at Old Trafford following Ferguson's announcement that he would retire after more than 26-years in charge of Manchester United.
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