London: Ryan Giggs declared that “we will go back to playing like Manchester United” during his first team-talk to the club’s players after being appointed interim manager in place of the sacked David Moyes.
The 40-year-old, who will take charge of United for the first time against Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday, has been told by Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, that he will not be considered for the manager’s job on a permanent basis, with Carlo Ancelotti, Louis van Gaal and Diego Simeone the favoured candidates to succeed Moyes.
Giggs, having been marginalised in his player-coach role by Moyes in recent months, has challenged United’s failing players to restore the club’s pride over the final four games of a disastrous season which is likely to end with the fallen champions finishing in seventh position.
In a move that highlighted Giggs’s determination to restore United’s traditions, the former midfielder Paul Scholes overlooked for a position by Moyes, was invited back to the club on Wednesday to assist with first-team training.
With Giggs left to oversee playing matters until the end of the campaign, United’s owners, the Glazer family, are due to fly into Manchester before the weekend to hold talks with Woodward, Sir Alex Ferguson and other senior figures in order to hone plans to recruit Moyes’s successor.
The Glazers are also due to discuss United’s summer transfer budget, with £150 million set aside for moves for the likes of Southampton’s Luke Shaw and Paris St-Germain’s Edinson Cavani. Cesc Fabregas, the Barcelona midfielder, is another under consideration, despite rejecting United’s advances last summer.