Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal denies rift with assistant Ryan Giggs

Louis van Gaal has denied a rift with Ryan Giggs after the Manchester United manager’s celebration of the winning goal at Newcastle United appeared not to be reciprocated by his assistant.

Television footage of the Dutchman turning to Giggs to share his happiness showed the Welshman stony-faced.
“We have a very bad relationship.,” Van Gaal joked when asked about the rumours. “I’m very irritated because of this question because everyone can see we have a very good relationship and we work very hard together. I think it’s a way of suggesting things. So then I’m very irritated and then I take my measures against the media. I’m not pleased. I think 90% [of suggestions] are not happening.”
After Giggs was interim manager last season for United’s closing four matches the Welshman would like a permanent post at some point in his career. Speaking on BT Sport before the Newcastle game, he said: “I enjoyed the brief spell I had in four games managing last season and that really helped with the transition. I didn’t miss playing as much as I thought I would.
“I’m starting all over again. It’s a completely new mindset, a completely new job than being a footballer. So whenever that time comes – I don’t know when it will be – but all I can do is prepare myself. I’m serving my apprenticeship again. That’s the way I see it.”
Paul Scholes, a close friend and former United team-mate, believes Giggs may leave the club before the end of his three-year contract in 2017. “There’s no doubt, he had that little taste of it for the last three weeks of last year and he definitely wants to be a manager,” Scholes said. “You can see that. Over the next two or three years, will he have the patience to be a No2 for that long? I’m not sure he will.”

Looking forward to United’s FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal on Monday evening at Old Trafford, Van Gaal said: “United and Arsenal are placed third and fourth in the league, so it’s almost like a final. I hope we can give a fantastic match for the fans. I think if we beat them it is a big blow for them but if they beat us it is a big blow for us. It is a very important game, not only for the FA Cup but also for the rat race.”

Credit: Jamie Jackson/Guardian Sport