Wayne Rooney masterminded an emphatic Manchester United win in Ryan Giggs’ first game in charge yesterday and then made a pitch for the interim manager to be given the job full time.
United’s totem scored twice and, with Juan Mata also getting two goals, United overwhelmed Norwich 4-0 to Giggs’s obvious delight. Asked whether the Welshman should be made manager permanently, Rooney said: ‘‘That’s down to the board. Giggsy has all the credentials to be the next boss. He is built to be a manager.’’
Louis van Gaal remains the favourite but no deal has yet been concluded with the Dutchman to take over at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal’s decision to sanction Patrick Kluivert, his No 2 in the Dutch national set-up and potential Old Trafford assistant, to speak on British radio last night seemed to indicate he was positioning himself for the job. But United denied that a deal with Van Gaal was done and intend to speak to other managers, with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone and Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti still prospects.
Van Gaal is understood to have been frustrated by suggestions in the Dutch media yesterday that he had already signed a three-year deal with United, and also indicated that nothing had been finalised.
Van Gaal’s easy availability – his contract with the Dutch national team ends after the World Cup – weighs hugely in his favour, though, with United aware that managers tied to multi-year deals elsewhere will be difficult to tie up. The Old Trafford club believe they can follow the strategy used by Manchester City and Chelsea last summer, by consulting their next manager on transfer targets before he officially begins work – as those clubs did with Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho respectively. That would mean a substantial input from 62-year-old Van Gaal before he takes Holland to Brazil.
The prospect of securing Ancelotti’s services is not considered an impossibility, though a Champions’ League title, helping to take Real to their first treble, would reduce such a prospect.
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