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Scholes: Too late for United call now

ESPN staff
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Paul Scholes is yet to hear from Louis van Gaal and says it is "probably too late'' to take a coaching role at Manchester United, while denying a rift with former team-mate Wayne Rooney.

Scholes was part of Ryan Giggs' United coaching staff for the final four games of last season when he took over on an interim basis following the sacking of David Moyes.

It was believed United still wanted their former midfielder at the club next year despite his public criticism of Rooney and Ed Woodward this summer, while Van Gaal stated at his official unveiling that he would find a role not just for Scholes but his fellow 'Class of 92' members Phil Neville and Nicky Butt.

However, Scholes' future as a United coach was cast into doubt this week as it emerged he has signed up to be a pundit for both BT Sport and ITV next season, and, asked on Wednesday what his situation with the club was, told Press Association Sport: "It's no different. I have not spoken to the new manager and there is no need for him to speak to me really.

Paul Scholes was involved in interim manager Ryan Giggs' coaching set-up at the end of last season © Getty Images
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"I only helped Ryan for a few weeks at the end of the season and I wasn't on a contract. I didn't have a job with the club and that is no different now.''

Then asked if he would be interested if an offer was forthcoming from United, Scholes said: "It is probably a bit too late now. I couldn't wait around forever. I had the offers from television, I had to make my mind up if I wanted to take them on and I've decided to go ahead with them.

"Whether something might come from United in the future, I don't know, but it is not something I'm waiting for.''

There was speculation that Scholes' comments in May in an online blog for Paddy Power could block a return to Old Trafford as a coach.

Regarding Rooney, Scholes wrote: ''There's a chance he's worn out. Wayne's peak may have been a lot younger than what we'd expect of footballers traditionally."

He also wrote that United executive vice-chairman Woodward "has an awful lot to prove this time that he's good enough at his job" following United's failings in the transfer window last summer.

However, Scholes has stressed he doesn't feel his relationships with the club or Rooney have been damaged.

"It has never come back at me. I don't think that was a problem. More was made of the Wayne thing than it actually was. I was saying he is England's best goalscorer and should be playing centre-forward," said Scholes, who was speaking at a promotional event for Men United v Prostate Cancer.

Paul Scholes believes his criticism of Wayne Rooney hasn't damaged their relationship © Getty Images
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"I was only saying I don't think he should be played in wide areas - that I don't think he has the legs to do it any more. That was the only thing he might have taken a little bit of offence to. As an England and United fan, I want him to play centre-forward because I know if he does, he'll score goals.

"From my side we are alright - whether Wayne is upset, I don't know. But he is an intelligent lad, and if he read it, he'll know what I'm saying. Some tried to make out I said he was gone, finished, which is nonsense. He has been an unbelievable player, and he still has a lot to offer.''

Indeed, Scholes has echoed former United team-mate Rio Ferdinand's call for Rooney to become England captain, and also backed him for the armband at Old Trafford.

"I can see him doing both,'' added Scholes. "If you look at England and United, there aren't many outstanding candidates for the role and I think Wayne is probably the outstanding candidate of all of them. He could be a captain without a shadow of a doubt.

"He would easily adapt to the responsibility and it could even make him a better player. I think it is between Wayne and Robin van Persie for United.

"Van Persie obviously has close links with Van Gaal, and you do like to have a link between your manager and your captain - he had him as captain for Netherlands' team. So I wouldn't be surprised if it was Van Persie, but I'd like to see Wayne as United captain.''

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