Sir Alex Ferguson has broken his silence over Manchester United’s future, declaring the club should turn to Ryan Giggs as David Moyes’s successor rather than launch their pursuit of an experienced manager such as Louis van Gaal.
Ferguson said Giggs, who outlined his philosophy as interim United manager on Friday, “knows exactly what’s needed” to lead the club following the failure of Moyes, who was dismissed on Tuesday after 10 months. Speaking at a lunch in Manchester, Ferguson said: “I think that he’s the one man they should go to, really. He’s got 20-odd years of experience at Manchester United. I signed him as a kid at 13 years of age. He’s gone through all the gamut of emotions at the club. He’s experienced all the highs and lows.”
The 72-year-old said that former captain Gary Neville “could easily come back” to United and join Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt to create a management model resembling Bayern Munich’s in the past.
Van Gaal, the Dutch national manager, indicated by email yesterday that he was unwilling to discuss his future. Comments by Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti that he is “lucky to work at the best team in the world” do not leave United with the impression that he is unattainable, though Van Gaal’s availability as a free agent from this summer is a factor in the equation. Borussia Dortmund’s Jürgen Klopp is not a realistic target, despite making comments about his future on Thursday night that seemed ambiguous.
Ferguson denied that he was involved in a decision, made last Sunday night, to fire Moyes after the 2-0 defeat at Everton. “Luckily I was in Aberdeen ... I don’t know where that came from,” he said.
He also dismissed claims that he had failed to undertake “succession planning “ ahead of his retirement. Ferguson said: “That is impossible to rule because if you go back five years I remember the press was saying, ‘Well, don’t you think he will make a great manager of Manchester United?’ Some of these people we are talking about are out of jobs now. So it’s a very difficult industry to say you can have succession planning.
“But in the case of what we were doing in the last few years with bringing [reserve team manager] Nicky Butt into the fold, Ryan into the fold, Paul Scholes into the fold, [we have planned]. And Gary Neville was offered a position but he decided to go into television.
“The model is Bayern Munich, where they had [Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge, [Gerd] Müller, [Uli] Hoeness, [Franz] Beckenbauer, [Sepp] Maier all there with their knowledge of the great Bayern teams.”