Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly decided against offering Old Trafford legend Ryan Giggs a position on his coaching staff next season because he is worried about having a direct rival working alongside him that may not provide the loyal support he expects.
The latest update now contradicts previous reports in recent weeks that the new boss did in fact want Giggs to remain on the backroom staff and would find a role for him.
But, according to The Times, it appears that Mourinho has actually decided against that as a result of Giggs’ ambitions to be manager himself one day – he had thought the job would be his when Louis van Gaal was originally scheduled to leave in 2017.
The intriguing report from The Times notes that “Mourinho demands unswerving loyalty and complete support in everything he does from his backroom team”, and would therefore feel “uncomfortable” should Giggs continue to work beneath him, all the while harbouring the top job.
It is said that Mourinho feels the Welshman could have done more in his role as an assistant coach to Van Gaal, and David Moyes before him, to support his manager.
The fact that Giggs has spent most of the last three years sat motionless on the bench and appeared to shrink when things were at their worst has not been lost on some people.
It is even suggested that Mourinho finds Giggs’ close friendship with Paul Scholes to be unnerving. Scholes has been one of the loudest critics of United since he quit playing duties three years ago and Van Gaal was often left fielding questions about Scholes’ negative comments when he faced the press.
It would appear that the only way in which Giggs could now remain at Old Trafford is by taking a role in the club’s youth setup.
It’s how the likes of Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique both cut their teeth in management before going on to great success, but The Times report says that Giggs would see such a move as a step back.
It is said that despite being passed over for assistant manager – a role to be filled by long-standing Mourinho ally Rui Faria – he would have still preferred to stay at the club. But, with Mourinho keeping him away from the first-team staff, his options are juniors or nothing.