Ryan Giggs says he feared Sir Alex Ferguson would sell him after his poor performances in the 2002-03 campaign for Man Utd.
The former Wales international won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, three League Cups and four FA Cups during his time as a player at Man Utd.
But there was a time when Giggs was worried that he could be turfed out around the same time that David Beckham departed for Real Madrid.
When asked if he ever had a chance to leave Man Utd, Giggs told the MUTV podcast: “No, no. In 2002-03, I didn’t get off to a good start. It was when Becks [David Beckham] left, at the end of the season. I felt that was the time when I felt: yeah, maybe the manager could get rid of me.
Giggs added: “Yeah, it was a bit of that. To be honest, I wasn’t playing well and it was in the middle of that transition from playing winger to coming inside to a midfield position. So I was still trying to find how I could be most effective.”
Gary Neville recently revealed how Ferguson gagged Giggs and his other young players from speaking to the media at Man Utd.
Neville told Sky Sports: “If you remember, particularly in the early years of Ryan Giggs, he didn’t let him speak. He managed him completely for a period of years thinking that the media would try and stitch him up.
“If you remember at the time there was a very aggressive approach in the 80s, early 90s towards players. If you think about Paul Gascoigne, how they would treat Graham Taylor with England. If you think about the attacks, David Beckham after the 1998 World Cup.
“There was a great mistrust between the media and players at that time and Sir Alex Ferguson protected his players, his young players enormously. So in terms of just being allowed to do an interview, it would always be done with someone the manager would trust.
“We would never let Ryan or David Beckham or a young player go into an interview room with a group of tabloid journalists and say ‘go on in you go’. He would never allow that. He would maybe allow them to go and speak to a trusted journalist, a trusted person in the media or in broadcast at an arranged time where he had pre-screened the questions.
“He wouldn’t expose his young players, so Haaland just seems to be going out there doing all the interviews after the game which I think is something to be commended. And ultimately Sir Alex had a very different approach in those early years.”