(Reuters) - Ryan Giggs has strengthened his managerial credentials with Wales and a successful European Championship could put him in contention for the Manchester United hotseat, former United striker Mark Hughes has said.
Giggs, 46, won 13 league titles and two Champions League crowns during a 24-year spell at United and was named the club’s player-coach towards the end of his career.
He took over as interim player-manager after David Moyes was sacked and also served as an assistant to Louis van Gaal when the Dutchman was appointed in 2014.
Giggs left United after the appointment of Jose Mourinho in 2016 and secured his first managerial role with Wales two years later, guiding them to Euro 2020.
“I think Ryan is in a good place in his management career,” Hughes, who managed Giggs when he was Wales boss, told the BBC. “He is on an upward trend. He is probably more likely to get an opportunity at United than he was when van Gaal left in 2016.
“Maybe they felt his management CV wasn’t strong enough at that point, but if he goes to the European Championship and does well, then there’s no reason why he won’t be in the frame.”
Hughes believes United did not hand Giggs the job in 2016 because they wanted a high-profile manager to match Manchester City’s appointment of Pep Guardiola.
“Giggs worked very closely with Van Gaal..., which I felt was a good decision. I thought that was with a view to him taking over the role when Van Gaal left. It wasn’t to be, and they decided to go for a bigger name - Mourinho,” he said.
“I think that was pushed maybe a little bit because of the appointment at City of Guardiola. Maybe they felt they needed like for like, which probably affected Ryan’s chances.”
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.