Ryan Giggs has revealed he wanted to replace Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager – only to be snubbed by Old Trafford chiefs.
Giggs, widely regarded as one of the greatest players to represent the Red Devils, enjoyed a brief spell as the club’s interim boss back in 2014.
The Welsh legend was handed the reins on a temporary basis after David Moyes was sacked but, despite winning two of his four games in charge, the club opted to bring in Dutchman Van Gaal as their full-time boss.
Giggs then spent two seasons working under Van Gaal as assistant manager for United between 2014 and 2016 and felt he was ready for the top job following the Dutchman’s sacking.
But the club instead opted for Jose Mourinho, a decision that ultimately frustrated Giggs.
Giggs told The Greatest Game : “If I’m honest, I wanted the job [after Moyes was sacked]. But I wasn’t ready.
“There is a trend at the moment with younger coaches who have played for the club getting the jobs.
“At that time there was still a lot of the older managers coming in. They were seen as safe.
“I wanted the job when I had those four games, but I wasn’t ready. I was definitely ready after Louis [was sacked] and I wanted the job but I was nowhere near it.”
Giggs also claimed that Van Gaal punched him in the stomach the first time he met the former Manchester United boss.
“He was different. He was very dominating,” he added.
“The first time I met him he punched me in the stomach. I’ve gone to meet him, we’ve got a list of the players that I think were good and the ones that were not so good.
“I’ve gone to meet him at a hotel, he’s opened the door, looked at me up and down and gone ‘You are in good shape!’ then he punched me in the stomach.
“It was hard as well and I didn’t know what to do.”