Ryan Giggs told Manchester United to sign Gabriel Jesus and Kylian Mbappe on the cheap – but they ignored his advice.
Jesus subsequently joined rivals Man City in a £27m deal from Palmeiras, while Mbappe enjoyed a breakout campaign with Monaco that saw him become the youngest ever scorer in a Champions League semi-final, earning a move to PSG.
Giggs was No.2 to former boss Louis van Gaal between 2014 and 2016 after he had a brief stint as caretaker boss when Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor David Moyes was sacked. He claims that United’s recent recruitment policy has been far from impressive.
“I watched Gabriel Jesus play three years ago,” Giggs told The Times chief football correspondent, Oliver Kay.
“I watched Mbappe for a year. I was watching them with the chief scout and it was a no-brainer. It was just like, ‘Get them’.
“It would have cost £5million or something – get them, loan them back – and that’s where the recruitment could have been better.
“I know what a Manchester United player looks like.”
In the interview Giggs also admitted he clashed with Dutchman Van Gaal over the departures of three first-team players.
He continued: ‘I know what a Manchester United player looks like.
‘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.
He understood [my position] because I had played with those lads, but they just weren’t for him.
‘Some of them, like Welbeck, wanted to play more regularly, and Jonny had a few injuries at the time, so you could understand it, but — and it’s not saying it in hindsight — recruitment hasn’t been great either.’
Giggs, meanwhile, is keen on getting into management but ruled himself out of the running to replace Paul Clement at Swansea.
“No, I’ve already spoken to them before, last time before they appointed Bob Bradley,” Giggs said, speaking on Sky Sports, after asking if he would be interested.
“Over the years, it has been a well run club but it is tough now and it gets tougher every year.
“They lost good players in the summer, Sigurdsson and Llorente, and haven’t replaced them.”