Manchester United's senior hierarchy is “evaluating all possibilities” as it attempts to arrest the club's steep descent under David Moyes. Contrary to public statements that Sir Alex Ferguson's successor will definitely be granted at least a second season as manager, Moyes' dismissal is prominent among those possibilities.
Though Tuesday's humiliating 3-0 home loss to Manchester City ensured that United's first post-Ferguson season is statistically the club's worst in the Premier League era, the review of potential candidates to replace Moyes should not be regarded as a knee-jerk reaction.
Key decision-makers within the Old Trafford board have been assessing potential replacements as manager for several weeks and further talks are planned.
Having already sanctioned a spend of over £60 million on two headline transfers, handed Wayne Rooney a club-record contract renewal, and approved an unprecedented recruitment spend for this summer, the Glazer family is said to be concerned that the Scot will continue to damage the value of their asset.
Recruited on the recommendation of Ferguson, Moyes was not the majority shareholders' preferred choice for their first managerial appointment as owners of the club.
The reigning Champions' form since Christmas has seen fans pushed to the limits of their loyalty, with Ferguson and Moyes heckled by some over the current state of the squad during Tuesday's loss against City.
The 'Chosen One' banner, erected on the Stretford End as a nod to Ferguson's selection of his countryman last May, was guarded by stewards after the final whistle amid fears that it would be forcibly removed by disgruntled supporters.