Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that it is up to the ‘hard-working’ Ryan Giggs to decide where his own managerial future lies.

Giggs has spent the last 18 months working as van Gaal’s assistant manager at Old Trafford while also spending time as a player-coach under David Moyes following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement from the top job at the Theatre of Dreams in 2013.

The 42-year-old was widely expected to take over from van Gaal when the Dutchman steps aside at the end of 2016-17 season, but recent developments have seen José Mourinho heavily tipped to take over the United job at the end of the season, accelerating van Gaal’s exit from the world of football and leaving Giggs in the lurch.

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And the United manager has admitted that it is up to the Welshman to decide where to take his first steps into the world of football management.

In an interview with The Independent, van Gaal said:

Those questions are for Ryan, not for me. Now I cannot say it [he should be my successor] anymore because I don’t want to reign beyond my grave. I have stopped that message. In my first year, it was good to say it, though.

The United manager went on to say that Giggs has impressed throughout his time at United with his work ethic and his tactical analysis of the Red Devils’ opposition:

I am impressed by his hard-working attitude because ex-players are not often good examples of hard-working managers.

He is very hard-working and it is impressive. What he has to do for me is analyse the opponent and his explanation of that is very good. His coaching capacity, his reading of the game, are excellent and he can say the right things to my players. I am very happy with him.

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Giggs is entering his 29th year at Old Trafford, having signed his first youth contract as a United player back in 1987. He has seen and done it all at Old Trafford, and some United fans feel that the club’s most decorated player should be given the chance to take the top job at the Theatre of Dreams.

However, other United fans feel that Giggs should leave the club to gain managerial experience in order to be considered a genuine candidate for the United job. Either way, this story isn’t over by a long shot.