Giggs blames United for not signing young stars

LONDON • Ryan Giggs believes that Manchester United are paying the price for an erratic transfer policy, revealing that the club failed to act on his advice that they sign top-class youngsters such as Gabriel Jesus and Kylian Mbappe.

Giggs, the most successful player in the club's history, believes a lack of clear vision since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 caused United to miss out on Jesus and Mbappe, now at Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.

He also revealed that during his time as assistant manager between 2014 and 2016, he clashed with then Dutch manager Louis van Gaal over the sale of players.

United have spent just under £700 million (S$1.26 billion) in the transfer market in the four years since Ferguson's retirement, but Giggs believes that they have not assembled enough high-class players to compete with City.

"I know what a Manchester United player looks like," Giggs said.

"There have been a lot who have come through that haven't been United players and also players who were United players and shouldn't have left. I'm talking about Rafael (da Silva), (Danny) Welbeck, Jonny Evans - players who are United through and through.

"It was hard because Louis had his own ideas and you had to respect that but, yes, we had a few arguments about a couple of them."

Asked whether there were players who slipped through United's net during his time as assistant manager, Giggs said: "I watched Gabriel Jesus play three years ago. I watched Mbappe for a year. I was watching them with the scout and it was a no-brainer.

"It was just like, 'Get them'. It would have been £5 million or something - get them, loan them out - and that's where the recruitment could have been better."

United did not make a formal bid to sign Jesus, who joined City from Brazilian side Palmeiras in a £27 million deal last year. Mbappe enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with Monaco last season and was loaned to PSG in August with a view to a £160 million transfer next summer.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2017, with the headline 'Giggs blames United for not signing young stars'. Print Edition | Subscribe