The Irish Mail on Sunday
Giggs set to be Van Gaal’s No 2, but ‘Class of 92’ are left in limbo
RYAN GIGGS is ready to accept Louis van Gaal’s offer to be his No2 at Manchester United – but his colleagues, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, have yet to be told what their future is at the club.
Giggs, who stood in as interim manager after the sacking of David Moyes, met Van Gaal in Holland last week and is now on holiday. But it is understood the talks went well and Van Gaal expects Giggs to take up a position as an assistant.
Van Gaal will also bring Franz Hoek as new goalkeeping coach as well as physiotherapist Jos van Dyk and analyst Max Reekers.
The appointment of the Holland national coach will finally be confirmed this week and could even come tomorrow. United made no announcement last week as they didn’t want to disrupt Holland’s preparations for last night’s Ecuador friendly.
The new manager also wants to bring in another Dutch coach, with Rene Meulensteen looking likely to return to the club he left last summer when Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Butt may return to his work with the Under-21 squad and Scholes and Neville offered places coaching younger players.
Chros Woods’ position as goalkeeping coach is also unclear as Hoek will now work with the first team but United may try to keep Woods elsewhere in the club.
Pressure is growing on executive chairman Ed Woodward to make clear decisions this week on the Class of 92 players. Woodward will also need to demonstrate a better grasp of the transfer market after the botched efforts to strengthen last summer.
Southampton’s Luke Shaw will come to United but the club may miss out to Manchester City on defender Eliaquim Mangala, and will need Van Gaal’s help to entice Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller from Bayern. The latter is very unlikely to leave Bayern, as his contract runs until 2017.
Van Gaal will also want United to bid for Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, though no deal is likely until after the World Cup.
Former United captain Roy Keane has scorned the idea of keeping all the ‘Class of 92’, saying the old-boy network is no guarantee of revitalising the club.
‘That doesn’t rock my boat,’ said Keane. ‘People go on about the old Liverpool boot room and all this but it doesn’t do anything for me. If it guarantees success I would go for it but does it guarantee success?’
Keane is more concerned that Van Gaal brings in the coaching staff that he feels can rebuild United after their desperate season under David Moyes. ‘I don’t know what kind of coaches they [Giggs, Scholes, Butt and Neville] are. Surely it will be up to Van Gaal to decide which staff he is going for,’ said Keane.
‘It’s about having the right coach, the right dynamics for the staff. David Moyes brought in Phil Neville and everybody said, “It is great to have Phil Neville”. I would like to ask, “What did Phil bring to the party?” And when David left, why didn’t Phil leave, because David brought him in with him? I know what I would’ve done. But we are all different.
‘You see a lot of the ex-players there: Robbo [Bryan Robson] does stuff, I think Nev [Gary Neville] does stuff.
‘It is nice for the fans to identify with somebody who is at the club. I don’t think it is a must.’
Keane himself says he will not be joining Van Gaal, despite being briefly linked with a comeback.