Friday 19 January 2018

'Very unhappy' Ryan Giggs nearing Manchester United exit after Jose Mourinho appointment

Jose Mourinho and Ryan Giggs
Jose Mourinho and Ryan Giggs

Jack de Menezes

Ryan Giggs is said to be “very unhappy” with the prospect of being demoted at Manchester United by new manager Jose Mourinho, strengthening the prospect of the club legend leaving after 29 years with the Premier League side.

Giggs has missed out on the United job for the second consecutive time after Mourinho signed a three-year contract on Thursday with the option for an additional 12 months, with the club confirming the deal to see the Portuguese succeed Louis van Gaal on Friday morning. Having seen Van Gaal get the job ahead of him in 2014 after David Moyes was sacked, Giggs faces an uncertain future following two years as United’s assistant manager.

While Mourinho was unveiled as United’s new manager, Giggs was in Dubai on holiday, and the 42-year-old has asked the club for some time to ponder his future after being offered a role that will create a bridge between the first-team and the Under-21s, according to The Times.

Only Giggs and Nicky Butt, the current head of the academy, remain at the club from the fabled “Class of 92”, and the arrival of Mourinho and his backroom staff could well jeopardise both of their futures at United. Mourinho will be keen to forge his own era at Old Trafford given the shadow of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign casts over both Moyes’ and Van Gaal’s tenures, but his offer to Giggs is at least an attempt to keep the club icon among his ranks, even if it is a demotion.

Giggs has made it clear to United that he wishes to remain assistant manager, having been the only survivor from Van Gaal’s coaching set-up, but Mourinho will look to his regular No 2 in Rui Faria to sit alongside him in the dugout.

That could well see Giggs bring an end to his time at the club, which has spanned 29 years since he signed his first professional deal with the club. While fans will be delighted to see Mourinho finally fulfil a role he has courted since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, any exit for Giggs could lead to more criticism of Woodward, who has already endured a fierce backlash against his appointment of Moyes and Van Gaal as well as his work in the transfer market.

In a statement released on Friday, Woodward said: "Jose is quite simply the best manager in the game today. He has won trophies and inspired players in countries across Europe and, of course, he knows the Premier League very well, having won three titles here.

"I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome him to Manchester United. His track record of success is ideal to take the club forward."

Independent News Service

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