Sunday 8 December 2019

Giggs calls in Scholes to bring back 'United way'

Ryan Giggs has been named as Manchester United's caretaker manager following David Moyes' sacking
Ryan Giggs has been named as Manchester United's caretaker manager following David Moyes' sacking

Mark Ogden

Ryan Giggs declared that "we will go back to playing like Manchester United" during his first team-talk to the club's players after being appointed interim manager in place of the sacked David Moyes.

The 40-year-old, who will take charge of United for the first time against Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday, has been told by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward that he will not be considered for the manager's job on a permanent basis, with Carlo Ancelotti, Louis van Gaal and Diego Simeone the favoured candidates to succeed Moyes.

Van Gaal, who has informed the Dutch FA of his decision to leave his post following the World Cup, is currently on holiday and available for talks prior to the tournament in Brazil.

But having been marginalised in his player-coach role by Moyes in recent months, Giggs has challenged United's failing players to restore the club's pride over the final four games of a disastrous season which is likely to see the fallen champions finish in seventh position.

In a move which highlighted Giggs' determination to restore United's traditions, former midfielder Paul Scholes was invited back to the club yesterday to assist with first-team training after being overlooked for a position by Moyes.

With Giggs left to oversee playing matters until the end of the campaign, United's owners, the Glazer family, are due to fly into Manchester before the weekend in order to hold talks with Woodward, Alex Ferguson and other senior figures in order to fine-tune plans to recruit Moyes' successor.

The Glazers are also due to discuss United's summer transfer budget, with £150m set aside for moves for the likes of Southampton's Luke Shaw and Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani.

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas is another player under consideration, despite rejecting United's advances last summer.

United are understood to have held talks with the advisors of Cavani in the French capital last week in an effort to persuade the Uruguayan forward – rated at £60m by PSG – to agree to a pre-World Cup move.

Attempts to bolster United's squad will continue during the process of recruiting a new manager, with candidates advised of the club's targets and offered the opportunity to veto any moves should they secure the job.

With Woodward and the Glazers due to consider their strategy in the coming days, United could yet hold talks with figures on their short-list should they secure permission from their current employers.

Reports yesterday suggested that Van Gaal would be keen to recruit former United captain Roy Keane as his assistant should he be appointed as manager at Old Trafford.

With Ferguson a key member of the group advising Woodward and the Glazers in their manager search, the prospect of the Scot being comfortable with Keane returning to United after the ugly breakdown of their relationship is one that is regarded as hypothetical by senior figures at the club.

United are aware of the need to avoid a repeat of last year's mistake in appointing a manager without trophy-winning pedigree, which is why their short-list on this occasion centres only on those regarded as being capable of ensuring the club challenges for the title next season.

Although Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have been ruled out due to their public commitment to Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, there is a belief that Ancelotti and Simeone could be prised from their employers should they be identified as the chosen candidate to succeed Moyes.

Moyes' fractured relationship with his United squad was borne out yesterday with the Scot failing to acknowledge the players in a statement issued via the League Managers' Association.

Moyes thanked the staff and supporters at Old Trafford, but conspicuously overlooked the players he had worked with since succeeding Ferguson last summer.

Perhaps tellingly, none of the United players on Twitter have so far tweeted about Moyes' exit, with sources close to a group of the club's squad suggesting that the former manager's statement was greeted with ambivalence within the dressing-room.

Giggs has urged his squad to focus on putting the Moyes era behind them as the team attempts to close the six-point gap between United and Tottenham in order to claim sixth place and Europa League qualification.

Having insisted that his team will play the 'United way' during his brief spell in charge, the players have been coached by Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, with Giggs overseeing the sessions, since Tuesday.

Fringe players overlooked by Moyes such as Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck are likely to return to the starting line-up against Norwich, with Moyes' signings Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini at risk of being dropped to the substitutes’ bench. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: The problem with the Champions Cup, the Stephen Larkham effect and trouble in Welsh rugby

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport