Scholes to be player-coach at Stoke
PAUL Scholes must decide if the Champions League Final is to be his last game for Manchester United and accept an offer from ambitious Stoke.Stoke, having enjoyed a thrilling opening season in the Barclays Premier League, have offered Scholes a route into coaching.
PAUL Scholes must decide if the Champions League Final is to be his last game for Manchester United and accept an offer from ambitious Stoke.
Stoke, having enjoyed a thrilling opening season in the Barclays Premier League, have offered Scholes a route into coaching.
Manager Tony Pulis sees the Manchester United midfielder's vast experience as a key ingredient for extending their stay and is ready to hand him a playing contract with the promise of a coaching role on top.
It is reported that Stoke are prepared to pay a nominal fee for Scholes' services and are expecting an answer from the 34-year-old former England playmaker in the next few days.
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Though Scholes has always been reluctant to uproot from his Manchester home, Pulis believes the Britannia Ground may be close enough to tempt him into starting afresh after two decades at Old Trafford.
Pulis, who enjoys a good relationship with United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson, made his bold bid after being alerted to an admission from Scholes that he feels he has another year left in him in the Premier League and wants to go into management after that.
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Booked in for a series of coaching courses this summer, Scholes, who went on as a late substitute in Wednesday's Champions' League final defeat by Barcelona, made it clear he had reached a crossroads in his United career by saying: “Not playing every week is an adjustment you don't like making. You train all week, and you want to play games.
“I think there comes a time when you have to accept you won't play every week, especially with the quality of midfielders we have.
“I will have to see how I am next season, but if I feel I can go again, I will. I would have thought next season will be my last one, though. After that, I would not rule out management.
“Let's see how the coaching goes first, but I would like to be a manager one day. I think I could put up with the demands it brings.”
A one-club man since making his United debut 15 years ago, Scholes recently admitted he would consider moving on to extend his playing days.
After defying the odds by keeping Stoke in the Premier League, following their promotion last May, Pulis is putting that to the test by inviting him to add his know-how to their midfield and learn the ropes as a coach.