Football: United coach Meulensteen leaves Old Trafford

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester United confirmed on Wednesday that first team coach Rene Meulensteen was leaving the English champions.

The Dutchman's exit had been widely forecast following the departures of both Mike Phelan and Eric Steele, two other members of the backroom staff, since David Moyes replaced Alex Ferguson as manager following the veteran Scottish boss's retirement at the end of last season.

"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," said Meulensteen in a United statement.

"I wish everyone at this great football club all the best." United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added: "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 he has given great assistance to Alex and Mike 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."

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