Man United legend Ryan Giggs is to step down as Wales manager, Sportsmail can reveal
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Ryan Giggs is to step down as Wales manager.

The Manchester United legend – who temporarily left the role after being charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend – is to announce his decision in the coming days, as revealed by Mail+.

Talks with FAW officials have been ongoing, with Giggs pushing to finalise the move following the country’s qualification for the World Cup under interim boss Rob Page earlier this month.

Sources close to the Welsh camp have disclosed that the 48-year-old – who strenuously denies the charges and who initially stepped down following the allegations in November 2020 – has decided to bring closure to the situation following the delay of his court case.

Giggs does not want his situation to act as a distraction as his country prepares for its first appearance in a World Cup finals since 1958.

He remains determined to clear his name, but given proceedings are now unlikely to take place until August, he feels that now is the time for clarification, sources in Wales have said.

Man United legend Ryan Giggs is to step down as Wales manager, Sportsmail can reveal

Man United legend Ryan Giggs is to step down as Wales manager, Sportsmail can reveal 

He is pushing to finalise the move following the country's qualification for the World Cup under interim boss Rob Page

He is pushing to finalise the move following the country’s qualification for the World Cup under interim boss Rob Page

Giggs does not want his situation to act as a distraction as his country prepares for its first appearance in a World Cup finals since 1958

Giggs does not want his situation to act as a distraction as his country prepares for its first appearance in a World Cup finals since 1958

Giggs’s trial was adjourned for close to seven months to August 8 following a backlog of cases at Manchester Crown Court.

He is accused of causing his ex actual bodily harm at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, in November 2020 and using coercive behaviour towards her. He has also been accused of assaulting his ex’s sister. Giggs denies all the allegations.

Following qualification Page revealed his contract with Wales had been extended but Giggs’s pending move will remove any confusion over the situation.

Read the full story on the Mail+ by clicking HERE.

Giggs’ nascent managerial career showed early promise and he would not rule out a return to management in the future if he clears his name

Ryan Giggs may have stepped down as Wales manager but the 48-year-old still believes there is life left in his managerial career if he can prove his innocence in August.

And with what he managed to achieve in his near three-year stint as manager of his country – after some harsh lessons learnt at United – it is no surprise he wants more of the action if he manages to clear his name.

His nascent managerial career came after a glittering time on the pitch as a player, winning 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups. 

But the start to his managerial career was not so plain sailing. It began in topsy-turvy circumstances, appointed as United’s interim player-manager at the back end of the 2013-14 season following the sacking of the unsuccessful David Moyes in April 2014.

Ryan Giggs was in charge of Man United for four games in 2014 as an interim player-manager

Ryan Giggs was in charge of Man United for four games in 2014 as an interim player-manager

He was in charge for four games before being named an assistant to incoming boss Louis van Gaal, winning half of those fixtures following 4-0 and 3-1 victories against Norwich and Hull City. 

Those wins came either side of a 1-0 defeat by Sunderland at Old Trafford, before the Red Devils secured a 1-1 draw away at Southampton on the final day of the season. 

Having had a taste of what victories as manager could bring though, Giggs felt the time was right to hand up his boots at the age of 40.

And he made an immediate impression on experienced Dutchman van Gaal, who publicly anointed Giggs as his successor after just a year into his two-year deal at Old Trafford.

He was then appointed as an assistant at Old Trafford to Dutchman Louis van Gaal

He was then appointed as an assistant at Old Trafford to Dutchman Louis van Gaal 

During his caretaker spell, Giggs was praised for giving debuts to youngsters James Wilson and Tom Lawrence and his willingness to give youth a chance had seen him gain favour with those who wanted to see him appointed on a full-time basis.

However, United chose against taking a chance on the yet untested and unproven Giggs, instead appointing Jose Mourinho, Giggs subsequently announced his departure from the club in July 2016.

Having enjoyed two decades under the guidance of the great Sir Alex Ferguson as a player and then working on tactics and philosophy with van Gaal, Giggs felt an opportunity to show his worth was not too far away.

Less than two years later, that chance arose when his national team – who he had won 64 caps for as a player – came calling and duly appointed him as head coach on a four-year contract in January 2018.

He left United after Jose Mourinho was appointed and became Wales boss in January 2018

He left United after Jose Mourinho was appointed and became Wales boss in January 2018

Not only was his appointment met with a lukewarm reception from the fans, but he had also signed up to the unenviable task of succeeding Chris Coleman.

The former Fulham boss had taken Wales to their first international tournament in 58 years at Euro 2016, where they reached the semi-finals.

Initially it seemed to not play on Giggs’ mind even though they lost the China Cup final to Uruguay early on in 2018, having thrashed the hosts 6-0 in the same tournament.

But if he had not realised the size of the task when he arrived, he was sure aware of it by the end of the calendar year, with the first 12 months appearing at best to be shaky. 

No doubt the Nations League double over the Republic of Ireland would have offered him some hope of winning the fans over, but two defeats by Denmark in the same competition extinguished that promise.

Giggs' tenure got off to a shaky start, with defeat against Albania a low point to end 2018

Giggs’ tenure got off to a shaky start, with defeat against Albania a low point to end 2018

A hammering against Spain in a friendly was also a blow but the year was rounded off in the worst possible fashion with an embarrassing 1-0 defeat by Albania, who at the time were sat 42 places below them in the FIFA rankings.

There was seemingly little sign of improvement when 2019 began, with a victory over Slovakia in Euro 2020 qualifying followed by successive defeats to Croatia and Hungary.

The latter was the seventh defeat in 13 matches in charge for Giggs and they were now playing catch up to try and qualify for Euro 2020. So the fact they climbed that mountain – trailing group leaders Hungary by six points – was remarkable.

Despite gradual signs of improvement, Giggs’ men had largely looked vulnerable out of possession, not to mention the sloppy defending and poor finishing at either end of the field under his guidance.

But the defeat in Budapest was their last of the qualifying campaign, beating Azerbaijan twice and drawing with Croatia and Slovakia, before securing qualification for Euro 2020 against Hungary. 

His side showed little signs of improvement at the start of 2019, with defeat in Hungary

His side showed little signs of improvement at the start of 2019, with defeat in Hungary

Giggs described leading Wales to Euro 2020 as a career highlight. After the victory over Hungary that sealed Wales’ place in the finals, Giggs said: ‘It is one of the greatest nights of my life.’

The calendar year of 2020 showed that turnaround was no fluke, with a 3-0 defeat against England in a friendly at Wembley the only blemish on Wales’ five games that year under him.

But in November 2020, football took a back seat for Giggs when he was arrested at his Manchester home.

And in April 2021 he received the devastating news he would not be able to lead his country at the tournament he had put all his energy into helping them qualify for.

But they then completed a dramatic turnaround to seal qualification for Euro 2020

But they then completed a dramatic turnaround to seal qualification for Euro 2020

He was charged with causing actual bodily harm to a woman in her 30s and common assault of a woman in her 20s, as well as one count of coercive and controlling behaviour between December 2017 and November 2020.

Page was put in interim charge of Wales in November 2020 and took the Dragons to the round of 16 at last summer’s delayed European Championship across Europe.

The same man will now lead Wales into the World Cup in Qatar, but Giggs believes his managerial career will be far from over if he clears his name. 

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