Everton confirmed on Thursday that David Moyes will leave the club at the end of the season, paving the way for him to succeed legendary manager Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Ferguson sent shockwaves through world football on Wednesday when he announced that he was stepping down after a record-breaking 26-year spell in the Old Trafford dug-out that saw him win 38 trophies.
Moyes was immediately installed as the bookmakers' favourite to succeed his fellow Scot and he met with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright in London to discuss the terms of his departure from Goodison Park.
"Everton can confirm that David Moyes will leave the club at the end of the season," read a statement on the club website.
"The manager met chairman Bill Kenwright early yesterday evening (Wednesday) 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.
"Everton officials will start the search for a replacement manager immediately."
Moyes is expected to officially take over from Ferguson after his Everton contract expires on June 30.
It is anticipated United will confirm Moyes' appointment either later on Thursday or on Friday, although one club official jumped the gun by inadvertently posting a message announcing the new man's arrival on the club's Facebook account.
A message urging fans to "send your personal welcome to our new manager, David Moyes" briefly appeared on the club's page on the social networking site, before being hastily removed.
Kenwright had earlier confirmed that Moyes would take charge of Everton's two remaining matches of the Premier League season, at home to West Ham United on Sunday and away to Chelsea on May 19.
Moyes, 50, has been in charge at Everton since 2002 and is the third longest-serving Premier League manager behind Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Ferguson, the man he is now expected to replace at Old Trafford.
He was reportedly identified by Ferguson as his preferred successor, despite an almost complete lack of Champions League experience and a failure to win any trophies in his 11-year tenure at Everton.
Ferguson, 71, took training with the United squad as usual on Thursday morning, ahead of his final home game against Swansea City on Sunday.
He has cancelled his weekly press conference on Friday and it is thought that he will address supporters directly after Sunday's game.
Everton also revealed on Thursday that Moyes will not conduct a scheduled press conference on Friday.
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez was installed as the favourite to succeed Moyes at Everton, but the Spaniard said he had received no contact from the club and was only thinking about his side's FA Cup final encounter with Manchester City on Saturday.
News of Moyes' departure from Everton followed media reports that United striker Wayne Rooney, who began his career under Moyes at Goodison Park, has asked to leave Old Trafford for the second time.
However, United dismissed the idea, with a spokesman saying: "Wayne Rooney is not for sale."
Rooney was handed his Everton debut by Moyes in 2002 and joined United two years later in a £27 million ($42 million, 31.9 million euros) transfer that made him the world's most expensive teenage player.
The England striker's position at United has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after he was left on the bench for a vital Champions League knockout game at home to Real Madrid.
He previously submitted a transfer request at 2010, only to change his mind and sign a new five-year contract.
In succeeding Ferguson, widely regarded as one of football's greatest ever managers, Moyes would face an unenviable task, but outgoing United chief executive David Gill believes the role represents a unique opportunity.
"It is a dream job," Gill told United's in-house television channel, MUTV.
"The new manager will inherit a great squad and infrastructure off the pitch, with a great staff.
"He will be walking into a difficult situation in terms of the number of trophies, but the positive of also having the support of the Manchester United family."