Ryan Giggs
Ince does not envisage Giggs taking over from Van Gaal when the Dutchman leaves his role as Manchester United manager. Getty Images

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince believes there is no chance that Ryan Giggs will succeed Louis van Gaal as manager at Old Trafford and claims that Roy Keane has the necessary qualities to withstand the pressure associated with the job.

Club icon Giggs took temporary control of first-team affairs at Manchester United in April 2014 following the departure of David Moyes and was later named as assistant to van Gaal when the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss took the reins shortly after guiding the Netherlands to a third-place finish at the World Cup in Brazil.

Giggs' presence as number two to such an experienced and knowledgeable manager was deemed by many to be as part of a vital learning curve for the 13-time Premier League winner to undertake before taking over on a full-time basis in the future, although van Gaal was forced to angrily dismiss claims of a potential rift between the two men following the 1-0 win over Newcastle earlier in March.

"Absolutely no chance. I don't see it. Learn from van Gaal and then go out and find your own feet as a manager. Then come back and say I've done five six seven years . . . that's how I see the road for Giggsy," Ince was quoted as saying on Giggs' prospects by the Irish Times.

While Ince, who will watch two of his old clubs go head-to-head on Sunday (22 March) as Manchester United travel to Liverpool in a potentially pivotal encounter in the race for Champions League qualification, does not believe that Giggs is ready to manage the club among whose supporters he is so widely adored, he sees no reason why another former teammate in Keane could not handle the role.

"I speak to Roy and he does want to get back in [to management] but at the right establishment, with the right project. Roy Keane is not a number two, Roy Keane is a leader of men," he asserted.

"And if the right [job] comes along then I'm sure he will get back into [management]. To be Man United manager you need broad shoulders and take a lot of criticism. Roy has broad shoulders and he is mentally tough. Things don't affect him. He has a poker face, doesn't show if things are affecting him, and there is no reason why Roy couldn't go back to Manchester United [as manager]."

At this moment in time, the idea of Keane taking over at Manchester United is presumably not one that would be seriously entertained by the club's hierarchy.

Although van Gaal did recently admit that his current job will be the last before he retires to spend more time with his family, the former Republic of Ireland international has not managed at any level since 2011 when he was sacked by Ipswich Town following a disappointing two-year stint at Portman Road.

Keane did transform the fortunes of Sunderland and deliver promotion to the Premier League during his first season in charge, yet resigned from his post in 2008 after 27 months following a desperate run of five defeats from six matches.

Since leaving Ipswich, the 43-year-old has worked regularly as a television pundit and is currently assistant to Ireland boss Martin O'Neil. He was also second-in-command at Aston Villa under Paul Lambert for four months between July-November 2014 yet stood down citing an inability to combine the two jobs effectively.

As well as a lack of relevant experience, it is also important to note that Keane's relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson, who remains at Manchester United as a director, has not thawed since a now infamous disagreement that resulted in the former leaving the club for Celtic a decade ago.