Ryan Giggs to leave Manchester United after 29 years – report

Ryan Giggs is leaving Manchester United after 29 years at the club, according to the BBC.

Giggs, who made a record 963 appearances for the club, had one more year on his contract as assistant manager but new boss Jose Mourinho is expected to give that role to Rui Faria.

The Old Trafford club had hoped Giggs could be persuaded to stay on in a different role but the 42-year-old Welshman appears to have decided to move on.

Club officials have not confirmed the news yet but the BBC reports Giggs’ departure will be announced in the coming days.

The Cardiff-born Giggs has spent the last two seasons as Louis van Gaal’s assistant, having served a short stint as caretaker manager after David Moyes’ departure at the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

Prior to that, he was a fixture in United’s first team for 23 years, scoring 168 goals in all competitions and winning 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cup winner’s medals, three from the League Cup and two Champions League winner’s prizes.

But the fans’ favourite has never hidden his desire to progress as a manager and he is widely believed to have been disappointed that he was overlooked for the top job.

Having completed his coaching badges, Giggs was linked with Swansea City last season and Nottingham Forest this summer, although that post has now been filled by Frenchman Philippe Montanier.

Giggs, who played 64 times for Wales, has most recently been seen as a pundit for ITV during Euro 2016 but has given no clues as to what he will do next.

The first man to win back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards (1992 and 1993), Giggs was named PFA Player of the Year and BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2009.

While the vast majority of United fans will be sorry to see Giggs leave, few will be surprised.

The Premier League’s all-time assists leader once described his time in charge of the club after Moyes’ exit as the “proudest moment” of his career – a spell that brought two wins, a draw and a defeat.

And in April, Van Gaal told MUTV: “I expect that (Giggs) will be the next manager after I am gone.

“What he has to do, for me, he does it very well.”

Giggs never looked entirely comfortable sitting alongside the Dutchman during last season’s erratic campaign but he is reported to have been angry at the insensitive handling of Van Gaal’s sacking, coming, as it did, in the immediate aftermath of United’s FA Cup victory.

If that put him slightly at odds with the club’s hierarchy, led by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Mourinho’s arrival has tipped the balance, particularly as the Portuguese himself has shown no real enthusiasm for working with a potential rival.

That said, there was still some hope at United that Giggs – arguably the last link to Sir Alex Ferguson’s great sides still closely involved at the club – could be tempted with a role that bridged the academy and the first-team set-up.

However that was dressed up, though, it was still a demotion and Giggs is no doubt also well aware of Mourinho’s preference for more experienced, bought-in solutions than placing his trust in home-grown youngsters.

Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea in December, reports to United’s training ground at Carrington for the first time on Monday.

Giggs, on the other hand, will be looking for another place to prepare for the new season for the first time since arriving at United as a 14-year-old in 1987.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust described Giggs as a “natural born winner” and expressed a wish to see the long-serving player return to Old Trafford as manager in the future.

A statement from MUST read: “Ryan has been incredible player for Manchester United. He is the most decorated player in the history of the club.

“That’s some achievement when you think of all the great players who have played for us. He is a natural born winner who never accepts defeat, winning was in his DNA.

“In these times of football mercenaries, Ryan was a one-club man and his love, passion and dedication for Manchester United has always shone through, on and off the field.

“We wish him well and future success in his new career as a manager. It would be wonderful to see him enjoy success elsewhere, perhaps before returning one day to manage Manchester United.”




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