After securing a deal to take Ryan Giggs into his second decade at Old Trafford, Chief Executive David Gill admits the veteran winger should be regarded as a club legend in years to come.
In addition to Giggs' sustained on-field brilliance, Gill was keen to note the Welshman's influence as a role model during his trophy-laden time at Old Trafford - a combination which ensures he is held in the highest regard throughout football.
“You would have thought (he will be regarded as a legend) for his trophy haul, and his 727 games already under his belt with many more to come," Gill told MUTV. "But it’s not only for what he’s achieved, it’s also how he’s achieved it.
"Quite rightly he’s got respect throughout the game, not only in this country but around the world. He clearly excites fans all over the globe with the way he plays the game but also I think everyone can recognise he is a true gentleman, a true ambassador for this great game and this great club.
"I think in the modern-day game, someone who’s loyal to the club, plays from being a junior right through to senior ranks, he’s won 18 trophies and he’s done it all - it’s very important. I’m sure through Ryan a lot of knowledge and information is passed down through the ranks which is invaluable."
With both parties keen to extend Giggs' tenure at United, Gill admits negotiations were particularly easy - and he hopes that such talks take place many more times before the 33-year-old decides to call time on his glittering career.
“It wasn’t the most difficult of negotiations," revealed Gill. "Ryan’s been with us for many, many years, he’s a great player for this club and a great ambassador. We were delighted to secure his services until June 2009 at the earliest.
“As you can see, he’s fit, he looks after himself, he looks fantastic and we judge it by what he’s doing on the pitch for Manchester United and he’s clearly producing the goods week in, week out.
“I think Ryan recognises what the club has done for him – we’ve looked after him – but he’s clearly done fantastic things for the club. I think that loyalty is something that is quite rightly recognised within the club and with all our supporters around the world as a fantastic asset in the game today.
“We obviously want him to stay, to play and to contribute for many more years to come.”