Manchester United will offer Paul Scholes the chance to return to the club in a coaching capacity, despite his recent criticisms of chief executive Ed Woodward.
According to The Times, the former central midfielder, who retired when Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down last summer, is set to be brought in alongside fellow Class of ‘92 graduate Nicky Butt as coach of the U21 squad, with Phil Neville taking up an ambassadorial role. The trio, who are all fan favourites at Old Trafford, aided Ryan Giggs as he steered home the United ship at the back end of last season, following David Moyes’ dismissal, but will not be working with Van Gaal in the first-team set up.
The idea of Scholes returning to the fold will be no doubt welcomed by fans, with many having assumed that he had burned his bridges after questioning whether or not Woodward was suited to his job at the club. Yet despite that The Times claims that there remains a role open for him, which he may well choose to accept.
The diminutive former midfield ace has been and done it all as a player, and his ties with United are as strong as anyones. Thanks to the experience garnered during his years under Ferguson he’ll likely have plenty to offer the players coming through the ranks, and his influence is enough to inspire promising talents to work that little bit harder.
Despite having been renowned for his media shy approach as a player his role as Paddy Power blogger has seen him at the centre of some controversial debates recently, including ones centered around the development of Arsenal and England star Jack Wilshere and of course Woodward’s usefulness to United. The latter was perceived to be the end of Scholes’ time as a United darling, with the man himself having confirmed that he wasn’t expecting to be at Old Trafford next year back in May.
Yet now it appears the quartet who finished in charge of the first-team last term will continue their work towards rebuilding the reputation of the club, and in all fairness Woodward has already offered an indication that he will be far more successful in terms of engineering big-name arrivals at United than he was last summer.
A time for change
Whilst the old guard may be renewing their vows with United under Van Gaal, there’s no mistaking that this is a period of mass transition. Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have all left the club this summer, and now only two - Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick - remain from the starting XI which played against Chelsea in the Champions League final of 2008.