Ian McGarry is a broadcaster for BBC 5 Live radio and brings a story of Ryan Giggs convincing Manchester United to abandon a seemingly-done deal for Thiago Alcantara last summer.
As with any story, it’s worth noting that it is simply a sourced-anecdote, but it’s also interesting as background for the struggles of Manchester United under David Moyes last season.
McGarry says that Moyes was in a room with several United decision makers including Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs, discussing a nearly-concluded deal for then-Barcelona playmaker Alcantara (who would later transfer to Bayern Munich).
The group was around the table when Moyes asked each member of the staff what they thought of the then 22-year-old Spaniard.
“When he got to Giggsy, who was last, (Giggs) said, ‘Not a Manchester United player.’ And Moyes said, ‘Sorry I don’t know what you mean by that.’
“(Giggs) looked at Phil Neville, Phil sort of nodded, and said, ‘Look, playing for this club is more than being a footballer. It’s about your attitude. It’s about your mindset. It’s about everything that you want, everything in your body, every cell, has to want to live, play and win for Manchester United. I don’t think he’s a Manchester United player. And they immediately called off the transfer.”
If it’s true, and anywhere near as simple as the anecdote plays out, then it’s among the most inane and trite things to have happened in the Premier League. If Alcantara happened to be the worst human being on Earth, he would’ve still helped Manchester United’s maiden voyage under Moyes. It’s silly for Giggs to make the move, but it’s even worse for Moyes and everyone else in the room to buy into it.
There has to be more to the story, right? Either way, I’d imagine Giggs is in for a rude awakening if he thinks Louis van Gaal is going to play that way.