Phil Neville and Nicky Butt, members of Manchester United’s esteemed Class of 92, will learn their respective fates with the club next week with new manager Louis van Gaal set to begin official duties following his World Cup efforts.
Neville was appointed to the first-team coaching staff following the appointment of David Moyes, and was able to retain his position alongside caretaker manager Ryan Giggs following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor.
Butt, meanwhile, had been the Manchester United under-19 team manager before also moving up the seniors to support Giggs during his brief tenure, but the futures of he and Neville remain uncertain at present.
Van Gaal will arrive at Old Trafford almost immediately after returning from Brazil, where he took the Netherlands to the semi-final, and will bring with him a number of his own trusted coaches.
The decision has already been taken that Giggs, after officially retiring from playing, will take a position as a first-team coach, but Neville and Butt would appear far less likely to be retained by Van Gaal.
Decisions to be taken
"Football moves on and sometimes you have to move on," Neville told BBC Sport.
"My future will probably be resolved in the next five days."
He added: “I am speaking with the chief executive. There is no fall-out. If I am not involved [as a coach] I am sure I will be able to play a part in it in other ways."
It would be rather a shame if Van Gaal chooses to relieve both former players of their duties given the wave of optimism their ascension alongside Giggs created among the Manchester United supporters.
Room for three members of Class of 92?
Naturally, Van Gaal has his own men and methods after decades of success at the highest level and it is unlikely he would allow sentiment to get in the way of making a professional decision when it comes to Neville and Butt.
The addition of Giggs to his coaching staff appears to represent something of a compromise with the Manchester United board, given that the veteran midfielder is earmarked as a future manager, and there does not appear to also be room for both Neville and Butt.
Manchester United are undergoing a second transition in only 12 months and, although Neville has a long and distinguished association with the club, his connections to the previous reign, although a short one, will surely count against him.
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Butt could have a better chance
Van Gaal will want to get his new house in order and rely upon his own men to transform Manchester United into silverware contenders once again. There is a sense Neville would be prepared to wash the dishes as long as he can remain with the club, but his prospects appear slim.
Butt on the other hand demonstrated his ability in the academy set-up and his knowledge of the club’s youngsters may appeal to a manager famed for his willingness to provide chances to players to have come through the system.
The former Manchester United midfielder encouraged Giggs to include James Wilson for last season’s final home game and the teenager responded by scoring twice on debut in a victory against Hull. Not a bad success rate, and something Van Gaal may take note of.
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