In an emotional press conference, his first since confirmation he would be leaving Goodison Park after 11 years, it was clear how much Everton means to Moyes. However the lure of Old Trafford was something he simply could not resist.
"I'm disappointed to be leaving such a great club," he said. "The club has been such a great part of my life."
But when asked if he had considered turning down United's approach, Moyes said simply: "I have to be honest and say no."
The huge numbers of media present underlined the huge interest in Moyes replacing Ferguson.
Moyes greeted those present with a wisecrack: "Have you nothing to do today?", before confirming he wished to talk solely about Everton, which he did with an acute sense of pride.
"It has been very difficult," he said. "I have great respect for the chairman and have a great relationship with him.
"He is a really good guy.
"We had a difficult meeting on Wednesday but he totally understood."