Ryan Giggs
Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs could have been the main man following Ferguson's departureGetty Images

Alex Ferguson believes that Ryan Giggs missed a trick by not retiring from football as a 35-year-old and becoming his assistant as it would have opened up space for him to take over once the Scotsman retired. The Welshman is currently second in charge under Louis van Gaal and has been touted to take over once the Dutchman's contract expires in 2017.

Instead, David Moyes was handed the mantle. He made a woeful start to his managerial campaign with the Red Devils and was sacked before the end of the season. Giggs presided over the last few games of the season in which they finished seventh, with Louis van Gaal coming into stabilise the sails.

United got back into the Champions League with a fourth placed finish next season and are currently placed third with hopes of challenging for the title. When asked if he had ever envisaged Giggs taking over after his retirement, Ferguson said, as quoted by the Daily Mail, "Say he had retired at, say, 35, quite likely I would have made him my assistant and quite likely he could have moved straight into the job with the experience of being an assistant manager to me as he is doing with Louis van Gaal at the moment. But I would never have asked a player to quit."

Ferguson also defended his decision to appoint Moyes at the helm stating that his travails with United were unfortunate but he had the perfect profile to succeed him at the club. Moyes had spent 11 successful years at Everton where he kept them in the top half of the table under a shoe-string budget for major parts.

"I don't think we made a mistake at all. 'I think we chose a good football man - [he] did a great job at Everton, had 11 years there. We picked the right man. Unfortunately it didn't work for David," Ferguson added.

The Red Devils suffered a galling defeat at the hands of Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday (4 October) and the management will be looking to inspire the team to bounce back from that setback against Everton when they return from the international break next week.