Confirmed: Rene Meulensteen departs Manchester United

Alex Livesey

Rene Meulensteen officially departs Old Trafford after five years of service.

It has finally been confirmed that Rene Meulensteen -- a first-team coach at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson -- has departed the club. Here is a statement from him:

"I would like to thank Sir Alex Ferguson, the owners, all colleagues, players and fans who made my time at Manchester United very special and one I will never forget. I wish everyone at this great football club all the best."

- Meulensteen | Source: ManUtd.com

The club also released a statement in regards to Meulensteen:

"I'd like to thank Rene for his contribution to the club, particularly since he returned to Old Trafford in 2007. He has been first-team coach for five years and in that time has given great assistance to Sir Alex Ferguson and Mick Phelan in keeping the team at the top of the game not only in this country but in Europe as well. On behalf of everyone at United, I wish him well for the future."

- Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward

This is no surprise as it has been widely speculated for about a month or so that Meulensteen would be moving on. He had been offered a lesser role by new manager David Moyes but that was turned down. The Dutchman had been linked with the Wigan Athletic managerial post before that was filled by Owen Coyle. He may be in contention for the Under-21 England coaching job.

Moyes won't be retaining any of Ferguson's first-team coaching staff as assistant manager Mick Phelan and goalkeeper coach Eric Steele have moved on as well. The former Everton manager is expected to bring with him Chris Woods as his goalkeeper coach and Robbie Cooke as his chief scout. In addition, the likes of Steve Round, Phil Neville, and Jimmy Lumsden are thought to be in consideration for coaching roles.

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