Wales unlikely to tempt Ryan Giggs out of international retirement

• Gary Speed hoped Giggs would add to his 64 caps
• Midfielder focused on playing for Manchester United

Gary Speed's hopes of persuading Ryan Giggs to come out of international retirement and pull on a Wales shirt again appear to be fading because of the midfielder's desire to remain fully committed to playing for Manchester United.

Speed made it clear when he was unveiled as the new Wales manager on Tuesday that he intended to speak to several of the players who retired under his predecessor, John Toshack, to see if they would be interested in representing their country again. Fulham's Simon Davies and West Ham United's Danny Gabbidon could both come under consideration, although it was the prospect of Giggs returning for the Euro 2012 qualifier against England in March that captured the imagination.

However, a source close to Giggs said it was highly unlikely the 37-year-old would choose to add to his 64 caps because the player has "a one-track mind" and would be reluctant to focus his attention on anything other than playing for United at this late stage of his career. Whether Speed can convince Giggs to reconsider his position remains to be seen, although there is a sense that his best chance of bringing his former international team-mate back into the Wales setup would be through the offer of a part‑time coaching role.

Giggs has expressed an interest in coaching and there would be no requirement for him to make a long-term commitment to Wales, with the backroom staff paid on a match-by-match basis. The biggest obstacle to Giggs returning to the international fold in any capacity, however, is likely to be Sir Alex Ferguson.

Earlier in the year, the United manager ridiculed the idea when Giggs left the door open to the prospect of playing for Wales again by saying in an "emergency" he would "think about" helping out his country. "Ryan? You must be joking," Ferguson said. "It must have been a weak moment for Ryan. I can't see that happening."

Ferguson adopted a similar stance when Giggs was linked with the Wales job after Toshack departed in September. The United manager insisted he was "not even prepared to negotiate on the matter" and said: "Ryan needs to use all his energy and concentration to be here" because "it is a big season for him".

Speed has a strong relationship with Giggs from his time playing alongside him for Wales and will at least make the call to see if he can tempt the veteran back into a side that has some outstanding young individuals, such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, but is short of experience.

Stuart James

The GuardianTramp

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