Mickey Thomas warns Wales about Ryan Giggs
Mickey Thomas has warned new Wales boss Gary Speed that Manchester United are unlikely to let Ryan Giggs take a role in his new-look Welsh backroom staff.
Speed admitted he has spoken with Wales great Giggs about being part of his new set-up, admitting: "It would be great to get him involved" in some capacity."
But United hero Thomas has told Speed Sir Alex Ferguson would want Giggs to focus on his playing for United.
"Manchester United are keen to not to let him go," Thomas insisted.
Former Wales and United winger Thomas, Giggs' hero as a youngster, admits the 37-year-old's knowledge and sheer presence in the national team dressing room would inspire Wales' talented but young players.
Giggs is not only Wales' highest-profile sports star around the world but United's most decorated player.
So his experience is wanted by Old Trafford boss Ferguson in their push for Champions League and Premier League honours.
The legendary winger is the hero of Wales' current rookie stars Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Collison, who would value the input and guidance of the former Wales captain.
Speed hinted he would offer Giggs, who quit playing for Wales in 2007 after his 64th cap, a return to the international fold as John Toshack's successor aims to construct his management team.
Thomas, who won 51 Wales international caps between 1976 and 1986, now works closely with United on a day-to-day basis as a respected pundit and he believes Giggs' experience would be "vital" to help Speed.
Giggs, who is taking his Uefa A licence coaching qualifications, retired from Wales to elongate his club career and his current playing deal at United expires this summer.
The Cardiff-born star, whose honours include two Champions League wins and a record 11 Premier League crowns, has spoken of his desire to one day manage Wales - and Speed is considering offering Giggs a route into coaching.
"I think Gary Speed needs someone like Giggs alongside him," said Thomas.
"In the dressing room he has so much to offer the youngsters and he would be a vital influence. It would be fantastic to get him on board.
"But Manchester United want him to put all of his ambition into Manchester United, to leave Wales alone as that will come in the future for Ryan Giggs.
"This might be his last playing season and I know Ryan Giggs and Manchester United well, their focus is on winning the Champions League and Premier League - they wouldn't want him having any distractions.
"If Ryan wants a career in management then there is no better place to learn the ropes than with Wales - but I don't think it will happen.
"It will be too much and United and their manager Sir Alex Ferguson will not let that happen."
Ferguson ruled out Giggs possibly succeeding Toshack in September when he insisted: "It is impossible to do both. We have to be selfish here, I am not even prepared to negotiate on this matter."
And Thomas fears Speed will get the same answer if he requests Giggs to be released just to help as a mentor.
Speed has made finalising his backroom team his top priority and hopes to talk to potential new colleagues before Christmas.
Giggs, who replaced Speed as Wales skipper when he retired from international football in 2004, fits the Wales managerial team bill as Speed wants to employ a young and a more experienced coach.
"Ryan has learned under the best manager there has ever been," said Thomas. "He has all the potential to be a great manager or coach - whether that is sooner or later."