Louis van Gaal to Manchester United: Appointment hits snag over Ryan Giggs' role

The current Netherlands manager was quickly installed as the favourite to replace David Moyes full-time

Manchester United’s negotiations with Louis van Gaal appeared to have last night hit a hitch relating to how Ryan Giggs would fit into the substantial entourage of staff the Dutchman may want to bring to Old Trafford.

Van Gaal left his holiday home in the Algarve on Monday with no deal secured and with a growing sense in the Netherlands that negotiations to make him David Moyes’ successor as manager had not advanced as smoothly as he had hoped – with the back-room staff the issue.

The Dutch national manager continues to put forward his case, with intermediaries insisting the 62-year-old would be able to co-exist happily with former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, because the two men share a philosophy about the development of young players.

But Van Gaal’s urgency will be fuelled by an awareness of the growing enthusiasm for Giggs to be handed the job and suggestions have emerged that it might be difficult to accommodate Giggs and the Class of ’92 members he has gathered together into a new set-up.

Ryan Giggs walks out at Old Trafford for his first game in charge of Manchester United in the 4-0 win over Norwich Ryan Giggs walks out at Old Trafford for his first game in charge of Manchester United in the 4-0 win over Norwich  

United’s chief executive, Ed Woodward, who wants an experienced manager rather than Giggs to succeed Moyes, is not willing to impose the 40-year-old on Moyes’ successor, with Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti another United have in mind.

But the club is aware that alienating and losing Giggs risks breaking with a past which is an important part of the United brand.

United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard has added to the clamour for Giggs’ installation as the club’s new manager by declaring that “we are dealing with a new Guardiola” and praising the 40-year-old’s “spine-tingling” pep talk before the club’s most emphatic win of the season, at the weekend.

 

Lindegaard said: “The parallels with Sir Alex are striking, and it is clear that Ryan has been learning from history’s most awe-inspiring football manager. His last speech before the team went on the pitch before the match against Norwich, was spine-tingling in a way that I have only experienced from Sir Alex.

“He said: ‘Don’t let the fans down’. Some might question whether someone can go from being a team-mate to the manager from one day to the next. Normally, I have my reservations, but in Giggs’ case, it is different.

“He spoke when he needed to and people have always listened. What we have seen the first week has been more than convincing.

“It probably sounds rather naive and impetuous, and I understand people’s scepticism about any conclusion drawn, but to me we are dealing with a new [Pep] Guardiola. The question is whether he is ready to meet the enormous potential he possesses. Fortunately, it’s not my decision to make, but 100 per cent the club’s. And whatever the club decides, I’m sure that everyone in and around the team will respect it.”

Bale is congratulated by manager Carlo Ancelotti after he is substituted Carlo Ancelotti talks with Bale at Real Madrid  

Van Gaal had indicated that he would like Roy Keane as part of his back-room staff, though that prospect receded on Monday when the 42-year-old, currently Martin O’Neill’s assistant in the Republic of Ireland set-up, said he would “probably not” talk to Ferguson again – nine years after their dispute led to him leaving the club.

Giggs who – contrary to comments after the 4-0 win over Norwich City – gave the players a day off on Sunday, hopes that the striker Robin van Persie, a symbol of former United manager David Moyes’ struggle to motivate players, will be fit to face Sunderland on Saturday.

Van Persie’s return to Manchester on Thursday, three days after Moyes’ dismissal, reflects the players’ new-found enthusiasm to play for Giggs.

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When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
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He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
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I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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