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Many Chelsea fans must have gone to bed last night thinking rumours Alex Ferguson was retiring could kill the whispers that Mourinho may be heading back to Stamford Bridge.
But when dawn broke, so too did confirmation that the legendary Manchester United boss was indeed departing. But within a couple of hours Jose went from hot favourite to replace him to a long shot. Richard Pallot takes Nina Hossain through the day's events.
Everton boss David Moyes appears to be the favourite to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager.
Jose Mourinho is not a candidate for the position, senior sources have confirmed to the Press Association.
They also say that Sir Alex's successor will have a similar passion for playing attractive football, bringing in top-class players and a strong record in youth development.
In an interview with ITV Football earlier this season, Sir Alex Ferguson talked of his admiration for Madrid manager Jose Mourinho.
"I think a testimony to his work is that all of his players want to play for him and that's indicative of a really top manager," he said.
"I would never think a guy who hadn't played the game could be a top coach - but I think you've got to look at his personality.
"He's got a marvellous, strong personality and I think that bridges that gap.
"He's won two European trophies, he's won UEFA, he's won the leagues - he's done it all, so there's absolutely no weakness there," he added.
There is speculation that Jose Mourinho could be signed up by Manchester United, following the news of Alex Ferguson's retirement.
If so, it will put an end to rumours that the Real Madrid boss was planning to come back to Chelsea - where he was in charge between 2004 and 2007.