Manchester United are ready to bring forward plans to appoint Ryan Giggs as Louis van Gaal’s successor, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Van Gaal’s position at Old Trafford has been the subject of intense scrutiny as of late, with the Dutchman struggling to overturn a run of poor form at the club.
United have won just nine of their last 27 games in all competitions under Van Gaal, and suffered their most embarrassing defeat thus far against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League. According to the Daily Star on Sunday, Van Gaal will be sacked if United lose to Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Monday.
Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been linked with the job since being sacked at Stamford Bridge in December, but it is now believed that United favour appointing current assistant manager Giggs in the summer instead.
Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror claims that United’s long-term plan has always been for Giggs to succeed Van Gaal after the Dutchman’s three-year contract at the club expired. The current struggles mean that club chiefs would rather ‘press ahead with their succession plan’ a year ahead of schedule this summer, as opposed to appointing Mourinho. If Van Gaal can oversee an unlikely upturn in fortunes, he will remain for a final year, at which point Giggs will succeed him.
“Appointing Mourinho would only paper over the cracks. The club have a long-term plan that they intend to stick to,” a club insider told Mullock.
After a 24-year playing career at Old Trafford, Giggs has worked as assistant manager for three years, both under the failed regime of David Moyes, and now the troubled reign of Van Gaal.
Despite a managerial career which extends to just four games as interim boss in 2014, Giggs is ‘regarded as much more than a safe pair of hands’, according to Mullock. The Welshman ‘has been impressive and the belief inside Old Trafford is that he will be the kind of unifying force that has been missing since Sir Alex Ferguson retired almost three years ago’.