MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, June 30 – Ryan Giggs is set to call time on his Manchester United career after 29 years.
The Welshman has rejected the offer of a reduced coaching role under new manager Jose Mourinho, believing United have gone back on an agreement to give him the top job after he served under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
Giggs’s representatives are now in negotiations with United over a pay-off for the final year of his contract.
The 42-year-old will start a brief role as an ITV pundit at Euro 2016 on Thursday night but wants to move into club management.
Giggs made a club-record 963 appearances for United after joining the club on his 14th birthday in 1987, and went on to win the Champions League twice, 13 Premier League titles and the FA Cup four times.
It is believed that Giggs has yet to speak directly with Mourinho, who starts work at Carrington with his backroom team on Monday, and a last-ditch attempt to keep the United legend at his only professional club cannot be ruled out.
But Giggs appears to have made up his mind to go after growing disillusioned by how the club has been run in recent years. He accepts that it will be seen as a gamble, but even prominent figures at United are said to have advised him to leave Old Trafford and further his ambitions elsewhere.
The former Wales midfielder feels the club have gone back on an agreement to give him the manager’s job after he served on the coaching staff under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
When United agreed to let Mourinho bring in his own team, including trusted No 2 Rui Faria, Giggs was offered a lesser role aimed at bridging the gap between the senior squad and academy following talks with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
He was also given the opportunity to suggest other positions he could fill within the club but told that a first-team role was no longer one of the options.
The surprising lack of contact with Mourinho also suggests there is little appetite on the new manager’s behalf to keep a fans’ favourite who made a club record 963 appearances for United.
Giggs joined the club on his 14th birthday in 1987 and went on to win the Champions League twice, 13 Premier League titles and the FA Cup four times.
Giggs spent a fortnight in Dubai last month considering his future and has kept a low profile since then.
However, his decision to work for ITV in France is an indication that he is ready to put himself forward for new opportunities and he is not expected to be at Carrington on Monday morning when Mourinho and his staff arrive.
Although Mourinho and his staff officially take over then, the Portuguese coach has been active for some time lining up transfer targets.
United have already signed defender Eric Bailly for £30million, with free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan expected to follow in the next two weeks as Mourinho sets about rebuilding the squad.
Some of the United players who have not been in action for their countries this summer will return to Carrington on Thursday, but those involved in Euro 2016 and the Copa America will be given three weeks off once they have finished international duty.
Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to seal his move to Old Trafford on Friday. The Swede, 34, will sign a one-year deal after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expires.