Ryan Giggs, and not Jose Mourinho, could be Manchester United’s next manager, according to reports emerging in the British media.
Former Chelsea manager Mourinho has been vocal in the past about his admiration for Manchester United, but it is understood that United chiefs do not see the Portuguese manager as capable of holding on to Manchester United’s ethos.
Part of that, of course, is Mourinho’s history of not being able to develop young players. A few instances aside, the self-styled “Special One” is generally reluctant to give young players a chance in his teams and prefers to send them on loans to other teams to gain experience.
United, on the other hand, have a long-standing history of developing young players from the Academy, and the current injury crisis has forced Louis van Gaal to dig deep into his reserves. Marcus Rashford, the 18-year-old player who was brought in by Van Gaal after Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial both suffered injuries, rose to the occasion recently by scoring four goals in two crunch ties, helping United beat Midtjylland and Arsenal in the Europa and Premier Leagues, respectively.
But even with Manchester United recovering, Louis van Gaal is not expected to keep his job at the end of this season.
While some United fans and former players see Mourinho as a great option — considering his record and win percentage — he is not someone particularly liked in Manchester, primarily because of his inability to nurture younger players.
And according to an exclusive report by the Sunday Mirror, it now appears that Mourinho has resigned himself to the fact that United are sticking with a succession plan that will see Ryan Giggs eventually take over from Van Gaal.
This comes despite endorsement by former players who have worked with Jose Mourinho. While talking to the Express, former Chelsea starlet Frank Lampard said Mourinho would be the perfect fit for United.
“If I’m in charge at United and I see Pep Guardiola going to Manchester City, Jose would be top of my list. Jose will get the best out of the players there. He will recruit top players.
“They are not happy with where they are at. It’s a good option for both United and Jose. It’s a good fit.”
Having said that, Mourinho’s track record of constantly changing clubs is evidence of his inability to stay at a club for a prolonged period of time, according to Manchester United greats such as Sir Bobby Charlton, meaning the club’s board and executives are less inclined to hand over the reins over to Mourinho at the end of this season.
Developing youth is known to be the most important criteria for Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman of Manchester United, with Van Gaal revealing they spoke about it in his initial job interview when he succeeded David Moyes in 2014, according to the Independent.
“We discussed young players in my interview. We had two conversations, first with Ed Woodward and later with the owners.
“They said what the culture of Manchester United is and why they wanted me. One of the reasons was that I give young players a chance, as we are seeing. When you have me as a manager, you have a lot of chances.”
That would be difficult to argue against, but seeing Louis van Gaal falter again this season, the club will be bolstered in its decision to offload him when the current campaign ends in May. Van Gaal may be credited with bringing players like Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, and Paddy McNair to the fore, but with the club’s performances not being up to scratch, it is only a matter of time before United opt for a new manager.
And according to reports, Ryan Giggs is going to be that man.
The former United star has been working under the wings of Louis van Gaal, and with enough experience both as a player and now as a first-team coach behind him, United chiefs are already considering that the time is right to give Giggs the managerial role at Manchester United.
Although there has been no confirmation about Giggs becoming the next manager from United’s officials, an insider claimed that appointing Mourinho would only paper over the cracks and is not viewed as a long-term solution to the club’s problems.
“Appointing Mourinho would only paper over the cracks. The club have a long-term plan that they intend to stick to.”
One will have to wait and see if Ryan Giggs indeed becomes United’s next manager, but as we gradually head towards what could be a key summer for the Manchester United faithful, it is an option that looks more and more likely to turn into reality.
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