Ryan Giggs has revealed that it was the intention of Louis van Gaal to pave the way for him to become Manchester United in 2017.
Dutch tactician Van Gaal inherited the reins at Old Trafford in the summer of 2014.
Van Gaal took over from Giggs, who had been in caretaker charge of the Red Devils in the wake of David Moyes’ dismissal.
The Welshman was kept on in an assistant role, with the considerable knowledge of United boasted by a club legend considered to be a useful asset.
Van Gaal committed to a three-year contract and was keen to see that deal through before passing the baton back to Giggs, who would be ready by then to take a permanent role.
Things did not go to plan, though, and Jose Mourinho was drafted in on the back of an FA Cup triumph in 2016.
Giggs departed during a change in the dugout and is now in charge of the Wales national team.
He told The Guardian when explaining how things could have been very different: “It was more Louis who said it.
“You know how Louis is. He told Ed Woodward [United's executive vice-chairman]: ‘I will be manager for three years and then Ryan will take over’.
“Typical Louis. No one else made me any promises. I didn't think I was ready when I finished playing but, after working with Louis, I felt more than prepared.
“I know it didn't work out for United but Louis was brilliant for me because he is a teacher.”
Giggs took the Wales job in 2018 after deciding to make a first foray into the world of management in a full-time capacity.
He continues to be mooted as a potential United manager of the future, with his strong ties to the club making him an obvious choice.
A lack of experience may work against him for now, though, and the 45-year-old has already talked up the claims of current interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to a permanent role at Old Trafford.