Wayne Rooney to captain Manchester United against Swansea City

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is set to hand Wayne Rooney the captain's armband for the Red Devils' Premier League opener against Swansea City on August 16.

The England international has not captained the Premier League giants on the club's successful pre-season tour of the US - but, according to the Daily Mail, is the front-runner to start as skipper against the Swans at Old Trafford later this month.

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Van Gaal has doubts over Van Persie

It's expected that Van Gaal will announce Manchester United's next permanent captain before the Swansea City match.

The Dutch coach reportedly has doubts over Robin van Persie's suitability for the captaincy - left vacant following the departure of Nemanja Vidic - because of his checkered injury record.

Van Gaal has made it clear, though, that Van Persie shares his footballing philosophy - hence why he made the world-class striker captain of the Netherlands last year - and that this will be an important factor behind his eventual decision.

But Van Gaal needs a reliable captain with the ability to play week-in, week-out. It's the reason why he also has doubts over the potential appointment of other prime candidates at Old Trafford, including Michael Carrick, Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher.

Rooney wants captaincy

Rooney is the only Manchester United player, so far, who has publicly expressed his desire to captain Manchester United.

The 28-year-old, who arrived at Old Trafford from Everton in 2004, revealed last month that he would love to receive the armband - and hoped to showcase his credentials by shining on the US tour.

“Of course I would like the captaincy but it’s the manager's decision who he chooses,” Rooney was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “I think he wants to work with the players and then choose a captain from there.

“I don’t think he was ever going to just walk in and choose a player from the off. I’m sure he will look at the players now and make his decision in a couple of weeks.”

Rooney has looked sharp and motivated against top opponents over the past couple of weeks and may have done enough to convince Van Gaal that, as an experienced and talismanic members of the United squad, he deserves the captaincy.

Watch: Wayne Rooney - United's next captain

Rooney to captain United v Liverpool?

Van Gaal only has two pre-season matches left to see first-hand how Rooney performs while wearing the captain's armband.

The experienced striker could captain United in this evening's International Champions Cup final against fierce rivals Liverpool in Miami. Failing that, he could be made skipper in Van Gaal's first game at Old Trafford against Valencia on August 12.

Manchester United fans: Is Rooney the best man for the job? Have your say in the comments section below.

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Robin Van Persie
Wayne Rooney
Swansea City
Premier League
Manchester United
Jonny Evans
Michael Carrick
Darren Fletcher

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