The overwhelming favourite to take the vacant Manchester United job remains Louis van Gaal, but reports have surfaced suggesting the Dutchman is keen to get a deal done as soon as possible.
That’s because, according to Matt Lawton of the Mail Online, Van Gaal is concerned Ryan Giggs could snatch the job from under his nose, should United finish the season with a flourish under the temporary boss.
According to David McDonnell of the Mirror, the current Netherlands boss is keen to get a three-year deal worth £25 million deal wrapped up this week so he can concentrate on the World Cup.
But according to Lawton’s piece, Van Gaal is wary that Giggs could receive a surge in popularity should United triumph in their final three games of the season:
The pressure to stick with him — and his class of ’92 staff — could become intense. It’s why it would make sense to get van Gaal to put pen to paper in the next few days, even if there remains a degree of uncertainty about who would be his deputies.
It appears that van Gaal would accommodate Giggs as well as someone like Patrick Kluivert. But there is no guarantee, say sources, that Giggs would accept such a role.
Giggs took the reins for the first time last weekend, as United produced a much improved performance to swat Norwich City aside 4-0.
The Welshman, who has made 962 appearances for the club, per United’s official website, was given a remarkable ovation in his first game as boss. The players looked suitably galvanised for the occasion, producing a display bristling with energy, intent and incisiveness.
Van Gaal’s concerns about the current temporary boss come after United legend Sir Alex Ferguson threw his weight behind his former player, suggesting Giggs should be given the job on a full-time basis, per Jamie Jackson in The Guardian.
At a fundraising event in Manchester this week, Ferguson stated that Giggs “is the one man they should go to, really,” citing his knowledge of the club and strong mentality as key attributes.
Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen was also making a case for Giggs to take the Old Trafford hot-seat:
Alan Hansen: "I think Giggs will be the next Manchester United manager."— United Report (@UtdReport) April 27, 2014
Ferguson famously chose David Moyes to replace him at Old Trafford after he retired at the end of last season. But Moyes failed to show the qualities required at a club as illustrious as United during his ill-fated 10 months at the helm.
After Moyes floundered, clearly inexperienced at the very top level, it’d be a huge surprise if United were to go for a manager with no managerial background, regardless of Giggs' obvious stature in Red Devils folklore.
Who should get the job?
The club are on the brink of an enormously significant summer in which a flurry of transfer activity is set to occur. After a disastrous season, they will be desperate to re-establish themselves in the upper reaches of the Premier League.
Undoubtedly the safest, most pragmatic way to facilitate this process is by appointing a manager who is a thoroughbred winner with obvious pedigree. Now is not the time for rash gambles, and in that sense, Van Gaal fits the bill, not Giggs.
The clamour to appoint the Welshman as boss will be almost irrepressible should United romp to victory in all of Giggs’ four games in charge. But regardless of the hyperbole that could potentially accompany the current boss, the United hierarchy must make a business decision, not a romantic one, no matter how tantalising a prospect it may seem.