Erik ten Hag will allow his Manchester United players the chance to determine Harry Maguire’s fate and take a vote on the club’s captaincy.
The England centre-half inherited the armband from Ashley Young just six months after his arrival following a record £80million transfer from Leicester City.
Maguire initially impressed in the role and emerged as a key ally of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s before the Norwegian was sacked last November.
The 29-year-old’s form took an alarming after the arrivals of Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to undermine the defender’s authority in the dressing room.
Maguire lost his place in the starting XI during the final weeks of a torrid campaign, during which he was abused by his own fans and was the target of a sickening bomb threat.
According to The Sun, there is no sense of rebellion in the air but the chance to start the Ten Hag era with a clean slate and new skipper is appealing.
The Dutchman will allow his charges to vote for their new skipper and a clear favourite is said to have already emerged in the form of long-serving goalkeeper David de Gea.
The Spain international , who joined United a decade ago, returned to his best form last season and won the Players’ Player of the Year Award for a series of outstanding displays.
Cristiano Roanldo, who appears increasingly likely to remain at Old Trafford for another 12 months, is also in the running but De Gea looks certain to win any vote amongst his teammates.
The 31-year-old was increasingly outspoken towards the end of last season as United suffered one embarrassing defeat after another and even offered a withering threat to any player who saw their future anywhere else but at United.
Speaking after the defeat at Crystal Palace on the final day of the campaign, he said: ‘The best thing that happened today is the season has finished,’ said De Gea.
‘I cannot wait [to work with Ten Hag]. I am excited for the next season, new manager, and new players. Hopefully, we will improve and put Manchester United in a better position. We need to trust in the future.”
‘The new manager and staff are already looking for new players. Hopefully, they bring good ones with good character. Ones who want to stay, stay at the club. Ones that don’t want to stay go out. You don’t have to stay here.
‘I want to forget this season and be 100% ready for the next season and be positive. It has been horrible, a very bad season in all ways, it has been very tough. It is time to rest and prepare your minds for next season.’
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