Saturday 16 December 2017

Rio Ferdinand 'offered' coaching role by Jose Mourinho to cast doubt on Ryan Giggs future

Ryan Giggs speaks with Rio Ferdinand ahead of a Manchester United match last season. Getty
Ryan Giggs speaks with Rio Ferdinand ahead of a Manchester United match last season. Getty

Jack de Menezes

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has contacted former defender Rio Ferdinand about joining his backroom staff at Old Trafford, with the current television pundit said to be considering the offer.

Ferdinand, who currently works for BT Sport’s coverage of the Champions League and Premier League matches, is reported to be mulling over the offer to follow the Portuguese and return to the club who he enjoyed phenomenal success with during his playing career before leaving in 2014.

According to The Sun, Mourinho has sounded out the 37-year-old with an offer to join his coaching set-up. Having represented United from 2002 until he joined Queens Park Rangers two years ago, Ferdinand can boast a vast knowledge of the club, as well as some of those still among the squad that he played alongside.

The suggestion that Mourinho is keen to bring Ferdinand back to the club casts further doubt on the future of Ryan Giggs. The club are yet to comment on Giggs’ future since the announcement of Mourinho’s arrival last Friday, and with the Welshman set to return from a holiday in Dubai to hold talks with Mourinho and the club, his role in Mouirnho’s set-up could become much clearer in the coming days.

With the former Chelsea manager set to bring Rui Faria in as his assistant, Giggs is set to be offered a role that will attempt to bridge the gap between the youth team and the senior side, although it’s been widely reported that the Welshman will reject the job due to his desire to remain assistant manager.

The 42-year-old has twice missed out on the United manager’s job after seeing both Louis van Gaal and Mourinho appointed ahead of him, and the repeated snub could pave the way for Giggs to end his 29-year association with the Premier League club and seek pastures new elsewhere.

Mourinho is keen to have someone on his coaching team that has a deep understanding of the club, but whether there is space for both Giggs and Ferdinand remains to be seen. The pair’s former United team-mate, Gary Neville, was tempted into leaving his television role to take up the managerial vacancy at Valencia last season, and Ferdinand would be the latest in a long line of former United players to have served under Sir Alex Ferguson to move into either coaching or management.

At present, Neville still works with the England national team while his brother, Phil, left Valencia at the end of the season. Nicky Butt remains head of the United academy, though his role could come under scrutiny should Giggs be offered the new role in helping to develop youngsters, while Paul Scholes aided Giggs when he filled in for David Moyes at the end of the 2013/14 season after the Scot was sacked.

Independent News Service

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