Manchester United to part company with Mike Phelan and Eric Steele

Alex Livesey

Mike Phelan, unsurprisingly, is not retained by David Moyes. Eric Steele, in perhaps what is a surprise move, will not be returning either.

Some sort of turnover was to be expected with David Moyes being appointed the successor for retired manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The most high-profile changes in the staff was always likely to be with the assistant coaches. On their official site, Manchester United have announced that Fergie's lead assistant Mike Phelan and goalkeeper coach Eric Steele will be departing the club. Here's what Moyes had to say on the matter:

"I would like to put on record the club's thanks for everything Mike and Eric have done. I will be looking to appoint my own members of coaching staff at some point in the future, however, I'd like to take this opportunity to give them both our best wishes for their future careers."

- Moyes | Source: ManUtd.com

Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward had this to share as well:

"I'd like to thank Eric and Mick for the enormous contributions they have made to the success of Manchester United in their time here. Their professionalism, ability and diligence have been a credit to them. They are top class football men and everyone here wishes them well for long and successful careers in the game."

- Woodward

Phelan has been Fergie's lead assistant since 2008. However, it was speculated that he might be let go by Moyes because the former Everton boss is thought to be keen on bringing some of his old staff to Old Trafford -- specifically Steve Round and Eric Lumsden. Phelan was trusted by Fergie but the general belief is that he was nowhere as influential as former assistant Carlos Queiroz. The current Iran boss is often given credit for the tactics used by the great United 2006-08 sides.

The loss of Steele feels like a bigger blow because of his influence on David de Gea. The goalkeeper coach had scouted the Spaniard extensively during his time at Atletico Madrid and he's obviously played a part in the 22-year-old developing into one of Europe's best 'keepers. In addition, it's thought the two have a very close relationship -- Steele even has attempted to learn Spanish so that he can communicate better with de Gea. Chris Woods, the goalkeeper coach for Moyes at Everton and the current one for the United States national team, seems a likely candidate to take over these duties.

No announcement was made on Rene Meulensteen so it seems very possible that he is retained by Moyes.

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