Ryan Giggs officially leaves Manchester United after 29 seasons with the club

The 42-year-old will pursue opportunities in management away from Old Trafford

Ryan Giggs will leave Manchester United to pursue a career in management after spending almost 30 years at the club.

The club announced the news on their official website although it still remains unclear as to where Giggs will go from here. The 42-year-old had reportedly been offered a job as a liaison officer between the under-21 and senior squads but turned down the role and it is clear that the Welshman believes it is time he made a name for himself away from Old Trafford.

Giggs appeared in more games that any player in the history of the club and won every major club competition as a player.

Giggs thanked Sir Alex Ferguson and Louis van Gaal for all their help and also congratulated Jose Mourinho while leaving out David Moyes - the only other manager he worked with or under at the club.

In the statement released by the club, Giggs said:

"After 29 seasons at Manchester United as a player and assistant manager, I know winning is in the DNA of this club - giving youth a chance, and playing attacking and exciting football. It’s healthy to have high expectations, it’s right to expect to win. Manchester United expects, deserves, nothing less.

"This is why it is a huge decision for me to step away from the club that has been my life since the age of 14. It has not been a decision that I have made lightly. I'll take away so many special memories as well as a lifetime of experiences that will, I hope, serve me well in the future.

"However, the time feels right and, although I have no immediate plans to step into management, it is where I want to be.

"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 José 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 José 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."