Ryan Giggs has revealed how much he wanted the Manchester United job when Louis van Gaal was sacked in 2016 – but has played down any chances of him returning to the Old Trafford hotseat in the future.
Giggs spent two seasons working under van Gaal as assistant manager for United between 2014 and 2016. It came after he had served as the club’s interim manager following the sacking of David Moyes in 2014.
The former United winger won two of his four games in charge of the club after Moyes’ departure. He was expected to be a candidate for the next permanent manager’s role, but the club appointed van Gaal instead.
After two years working together, the Dutch coach suggested Giggs could be his replacement. But United opted for Jose Mourinho in 2016 instead – an experiment that lasted just over two years itself.
Now, Giggs has reflected on his time working as a United coach, admitting he wanted to take over from both Moyes and van Gaal.
And he thinks he would have had a better chance of being appointed had it been today rather than four years ago, due to the amount of former players getting big jobs now – such as the current incumbent of the United role, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Giggs told The Greatest Game: “If I’m honest, I wanted the job [after Moyes was sacked]. But I wasn’t ready.
“There is a trend at the moment with younger coaches who have played for the club getting the jobs.
“At that time there was still a lot of the older managers coming in. They were seen as safe.
“I wanted the job when I had those four games, but I wasn’t ready.
“I was definitely ready after Louis [was sacked] and I wanted the job but I was nowhere near it.”
Giggs does not expect United return
The 46-year-old is now manager of his country, Wales, and admits that even though he could return to club management one day, it would probably not be with United.
He added: “I’m more ready [for the United job] now but I think that’s gone now, I think the chance has gone now. I think it’s gone, I’ve done it.
“I’m happy with the job I’ve got. I can’t see that coming around again.
“I must say I’m enjoying the [Wales] job at the moment. There’s lots of pluses, and there’s lots of frustrations.
“I think eventually I will want to go into club management, but when that is, I don’t know.”