Manchester United are not expected to consider appointing Ryan Giggs as the club’s next full-time manager, with Louis van Gaal emerging as an early front-runner to replace David Moyes – who was sacked yesterday morning after just ten months in charge.
Giggs, a graduate of the famed “Class of ’92”, has won 13 titles with the club and made more appearances (962) than any other player in the club’s 136-year history. After United announced that he would take charge of first-team affairs on an interim basis, many United fans took to Twitter to declare their support for the 40-year-old Welshman to take over on a permanent basis.
However, it is understood the United board would prefer to appoint a more experienced manager to drag them out of the mediocrity they have descended into this season under Moyes.
Club officials hope Giggs will form part of the backroom staff of Moyes’ full-time successor, although they are happy to leave that decision with the man who takes over. United hope the midfielder can restore a sense of pride to the club in the next few weeks. Giggs is expected to remind his players of the club’s illustrious history and the board are hopeful he will do a good job in the short term.
Senior figures within the United boardroom began to haveg misgivings about Moyes’ ability to get the best out of his squad during the 2-0 away defeat by Olympiakos, it has emerged.
One United source claimed the players simply “didn’t look up for it” during the embarrassing Champions League loss in Greece.
United managed to win the tie 3-2 on aggregate with an uplifting victory in the return leg but doubts persisted among senior figures, who lamented a series of “lacklustre” performances, principally against Liverpool and Manchester City.
Ultimately, the 2-0 Premier League loss at Everton at the weekend was the tipping point. Disgruntled board members started discussing Moyes’ potential sacking at Goodison Park on Sunday. After sleeping on it, a United board member called Moyes on Monday, asking him to come to the AON Training Complex the following morning. It was there that Moyes was informed of his dismissal shortly after 8am, before the news was officially announced at 8:30am. It is believed Moyes was unhappy with news of his impending dismissal being leaked on Monday.
It is thought that United are also unhappy with the leak and are investigating who may have been the culprit.
Van Gaal is as low as 4-7 favourite with some bookmakers to take over from Moyes.
The Netherlands head coach has emerged as the favourite to replace Moyes, with senior figures at United holding the 62-year-old, who is out of contract after the World Cup, in high regard.
Sources close to the club have made it clear the fact that Van Gaal will be in Brazil with the Netherlands this summer would not be an obstacle to the Dutchman taking over.
Talks could take place over the coming days as United want to install Moyes’ successor quickly.
It is easy to see why United are interested in Van Gaal. The Dutchman lifted the Champions League with Ajax and he also won titles in Germany and Spain.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach is also used to working with big-name players and attracting big signings – neither of which were part of Moyes’ track record.
Van Gaal has made it clear he wants to move to the Barclays Premier League when his contract expires. He was linked with the Tottenham job, but United’s illustrious history, and a £150 million transfer kitty, make the vacancy at Old Trafford far more attractive.
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp ruled himself out of the running, telling the Guardian: “Man United is a great club and I feel very familiar with their wonderful fans. But my commitment to Borussia Dortmund and the people is not breakable.”
Pep Guardiola was considered when Sir Alex Ferguson retired last summer, but the Spaniard went to Bayern Munich, where he intends to remain. “I want to stay at Bayern for two more years,” Guardiola told a press conference ahead of their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid tonight. “Bayern are my team, I’m comfortable here.”
Other potential candidates include Paris Saint-Germain manager Lauren Blanc, who played for United for two years, Ferguson’s former assistant Carlos Queiroz, whose contract as Iran coach expires in the summer, and highly-rated Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone.
For now, Giggs is the man charged with restoring some pride to United following what has been a truly awful campaign.