Ryan Giggs has denied suggestions of a bust-up with Manchester United manager David Moyes, according to Tuesday reports.
The Red Devils legend, who has played just 10 minutes of football since the end of January, was said to have clashed with the under-fire boss over his training methods. Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star suggests this isn't true:
"A United source said Giggs was livid at the claims of a bust-up with Moyes and had described the suggestion of a fall-out as 'Total and utter rubbish,'" writes Cross.
Giggs, who was installed as a first-team coach when Moyes took over in the summer, "is said to have claimed the training did not fit with the club's attacking ethos and heritage," per David McDonnell of the Mirror, a claim which conflicts with Cross' later article.
Moyes is approaching his most important moment as United boss when his struggling side take on Olympiakos in their round of 16 Champions League tie. Losing 2-0 after an extremely poor first-leg performance, failure to overturn the scoreline could be enough to seal the former Everton manager's fate.
Defeat to the Greek champions, followed by a failure to beat West Ham and Manchester City, would be insurmountable. Moyes has managed to keep calm during television interviews this season, speaking honestly after a plethora of losses, but reports of an alleged row with Giggs is a dangerous occurrence for the 50-year-old.
As we've seen with Andre Villas-Boas this season, talk of dressing-room unrest is the kind of story that appears when the sack looms. Giggs' lack of playing time and stature within the club makes him a prime subject for this kind of exposure, even despite his limited role this season.
The Welshman has made 10 starts and six substitute appearances across the domestic division and Europe, per WhoScored.com, but he hasn't played 90 minutes since the Capital One Cup defeat to Sunderland on Jan. 7. He has racked up just 81 minutes in the Premier League since the start of 2014 and hasn't featured in the Champions League since the Dec. 10 win over Shakhtar Donetsk.
Giggs has been unable to help influence United from the sidelines. United's recent 3-0 defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool summed up a laughable season for the club, one that has seen the side's usual dominance and attacking style dissipate into a bumbling mess that lacks identity—aside from being perennial crossers of the ball, noted by WhoScored.com.
Miguel Delaney of ESPN FC believes the prospect of Moyes' sacking has been raised within the club:
"Key Manchester United boardroom figures have now turned against David Moyes, as the prospect of the manager getting sacked has been properly raised for the first time, club sources have told ESPN," writes Delaney.
Moyes is undoubtedly heading toward a key stint in his career. If United fail to overcome Olympiakos, then they will be out of the Champions League for at least 18 months and looking at a summer period in which it may be difficult to lure as many world-class players as the club would like.
The manager quickly needs to restore some pride. Failure to do so could spell the end of his nightmarish reign and the beginning of another chapter for the Old Trafford club.