Van Gaal or Giggs? Man Utd can't afford to get this appointment wrong...
The Sunday Supplement panel assesses the candidates vying to be Man Utd's full-time manager.
Last Updated: 04/05/14 11:08am
United denied stories in the Dutch press on Saturday that van Gaal would be David Moyes' successor but there are fresh claims in The Sun on Sunday that the Holland coach has agreed a £40m, four-year deal to take over.
The paper says Giggs would stay on as player-coach but its journalist Charlie Wyett, Jason Burt, of the Sunday Telegraph and The People's Steve Bates say the Welshman remains in the running for the top job following United's 4-0 victory over Norwich.
"Van Gaal is certainly pushing for it, that's for sure," said Wyett. "There is clearly something going on there, that's for sure - whether it's quite as far down the line as van Gaal believes - or wants us all to believe - I'm not so sure.
"I guess van Gaal wants it announced as soon as possible if it is going to happen; I think United would be crazy to rush it. I think they've got to test the water and just see if Carlo Ancelotti would be interested to leave Real Madrid.
"I still think Ancelotti would be a great fit for United; he loves managing in the Premier League, he loved managing Chelsea and I still think they were crazy for letting him go.
"Let's see how United get on in the next couple of weeks with Giggs. Let's not forget that after the great atmosphere when Giggs walked towards his technical area, United were pretty average for the 40 minutes until they got quite a soft penalty.
"The board have got to see how United do under Giggs and if they win the next three games, they've got a big decision to make. But at the moment van Gaal is certainly doing a good sales job."
Giggs revealed the he felt "10 foot tall, so proud" walking to the dug-out on Saturday to oversee United for the first time and described the 4-0 win as a "dream day".
Burt, though, said the winger - who played 962 times for United - should be behind van Gaal and Carlo Ancelotti in the pecking order to get the job full-time because he simply doesn't have enough managerial experience.
"It will be interesting if United win these four games convincingly with good performances because there will be a clamour and a campaign started to give Giggs the job," he reflected.
"United were clear last week that he's not going to get the job - they say that they have a list of criteria that the new manager has to fill and the one they will not compromise on is the minimum level of experience. Giggs is therefore out of the equation.
"The problem for United, obviously, is they can't get this appointment wrong. They have to get an absolutely sure-fire success with this appointment because otherwise it is going to be a real problem for them.
"I don't know Giggs but everyone tells me that he will be a good manager and coach and sometimes you think, why not? It has happened before and if you get the right structure around him - who knows?
"Van Gaal and Ancelotti are the sort of guys that United need to be looking at; maybe someone like Giggs comes in after that."
Bates, though, believes Giggs' stellar playing career should outweigh his inexperience as a manager when United consider his case and believes that the Welshman - flanked by Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville - can usher in a new era of success at Old Trafford.
"I understand the argument that Giggs has not got the managerial experience but let's strip that back: he's won 13 league titles," he insisted.
"Let's balance up a manager who has won a couple of league titles against a player who has won 13 league titles.
He added: "Yesterday Giggs, for me, showed a ruthlessness that means he's going to be a good manager in the future; he dropped Juan Mata - a £37m signing who, by all accounts, has done very well in training. He's excited some of United's own players there. Giggs clearly didn't think that Mata was good enough to start.
"That, for me, is an immediate indication that he's not going to soft-pedal. Marouane Fellaini was nowhere near the squad yesterday and neither was Adnan Januzaj.
"If Giggs does win these remaining games and they are winnable - Sunderland at home, Southampton away, Hull at home before they play Arsenal in the FA Cup final - he has to be in the running.
"While I understand that United, behind the scenes, are briefing that Giggs will not get this job I don't see how you can summarily dismiss him."