Manchester United reward veteran Ryan Giggs with new one-year deal
Ryan Giggs has signed a new one-year deal at Manchester United on the eve of his 1,000th senior game.
Last Updated: 01/03/13 10:57pm
The midfielder has ended speculation that he would retire at the end of the season by agreeing to stay at Old Trafford until June 2014 - an extension that will take him beyond his 40th birthday.
Giggs is already the most decorated player in British football history and is on course to add a 13th league championship medal to his collection with United 12 points clear of closest rivals Manchester City.
The former Wales international is set to celebrate his milestone in front of a home crowd against Norwich and boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed the evergreen winger will remain at United in a coaching capacity once he does decide to end his playing days.
"He'll be involved (against Norwich) and he'll be involved on Tuesday (against Real Madrid) so somewhere along the line he's going to play his 1,000th game this week, which is phenomenal," Ferguson told United's official website.
"What can I say about Ryan that hasn't already been said? He is a marvellous player and an exceptional human being.
"He has fantastic energy for the game and it is wonderful to see. To think that he now has 23 unbroken years of league goals behind him is truly amazing in the modern-day game.
"His form this year shows his ability and his enjoyment of the game are as strong as ever and I am absolutely delighted that he has signed a new contract.
"(A coaching role) will happen, that's the plan. We've done the same with Nicky Butt with the reserves and when Paul Scholes finishes it will be exactly the same with him. I think it's important we have people here who have the experience of being a player here."
Giggs revealed his delight, saying: "I am feeling good, enjoying my football more than ever and, most importantly, I feel I am making a contribution to the team.
"This is an exciting team to be part of, with great team spirit, and we are again pushing for trophies as we head towards the business end of the season.
"I am delighted to have signed a new contract. I would like to thank Sir Alex and the coaching staff and I would also like to thank (outgoing chief executive) David Gill who has been a tremendous support over my many years here."
Ferguson had good news to deliver on United's injury front ahead of Tuesday's return leg against Real, revealing that Phil Jones was recovering well from an ankle problem and that Robin van Persie had shrugged off the hip injury when he fell into a television camera at QPR last Saturday.
"Phil starts running today," Ferguson added.
"He won't be ready for tomorrow but he has a fighting chance for Tuesday.
"Robin van Persie has trained this week. He will be available for tomorrow."