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Giggs targets management career after United exit

Ryan Giggs will pursue a career in management after ending his 29-year association with Manchester United, and says he has served the "best apprenticeship".

The former Wales international, who won 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League crowns as part of a bumper haul of silverware at Old Trafford, confirmed his departure from the club on Saturday.

Giggs was on David Moyes' coaching staff and served as assistant manager to Louis van Gaal following the departure of Alex Ferguson in 2013, but will not work alongside new United boss Jose Mourinho.

And the 42-year-old, who also had a brief spell in charge following Moyes' exit, will now shift his full focus to forging a career as a manager.

"The time feels right and, although I have no immediate plans to step into management, it is where I want to be," he told the club's official website.

"I've been extremely fortunate in having two great managerial mentors; first in Sir Alex, who I've spent the majority of my life working with and learning from and who I believe will remain as football's greatest-ever manager and in more recent times, Louis van Gaal, whose CV speaks for itself. The knowledge I have gleaned from them has been invaluable.

"I want to reiterate my thanks to the backroom staff and support teams at Manchester United I've worked with over the years. The results on the pitch are a reflection of the hard work off it. I would not have achieved the success I have without the dedication, sacrifice and commitment of these people in creating the best environment for the team to succeed.

"I want to congratulate Jose Mourinho on his appointment as manager of the world's biggest club. There are only a handful of proven winners at the very highest level and Jose is unquestionably one of them. I know the fans will welcome him.

"My final thank you is to the fans. I cannot begin to tell you how much I will miss walking out at Old Trafford in front of you. It's extremely difficult to say goodbye after 29 years. I have loved every minute both as a player and assistant manager. The support you have always shown me has been phenomenal; thank you.

"It’s time for a new chapter and a new challenge. I’m excited about the future - I've had the best apprenticeship into management anyone could ever ask for."