The preferred choice of the next Manchester United captain evokes a different response depending on who it is you ask, and Louis van Gaal’s approach of handing someone different the armband for almost every pre-season game has done little to quell the speculation.
However the Dutchman dropped a relative bombshell last night when he hinted that he was more likely to appoint a player who has an English style of thinking. Such comments have sparked mass gossip as to who is now favourite for the armband, with the Daily Mirror claiming that Wayne Rooney has taken pole position.
Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley have also skippered the side during their U.S trip, but it was Rooney who lifted the International Champions Cup last night, having captained United to a 3-1 win over Liverpool in the final.
Naturally Robin van Persie remains a strong rival candidate, but Van Gaal may well already know who he intends to hand the role to. The Dutchman has previously made it clear that he would be evaluating the entire squad during their pre-season tour of the U.S and, following a fine showing wherein his team won all five of their friendlies, it would make sense to assume that he has more than just an inkling as to who he wants to lead his team.
Whilst Rooney is a fan favourite Van Persie has worked with Van Gaal before and so many believed it would be he who was given the armband on a full-time basis.
In other news from Old Trafford it seems as though six players are set to be told they no longer have futures at the club.
Shinji Kagawa, Nani, Javier Hernandez, Wilfried Zaha, Anderson and Marouane Fellaini could find themselves surplus to requirements, with as much as £100million expected to be accumulated from their signatures.
It looks as though Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley could yet survive the axe despite having under performed last term, as they’ve both enjoyed impressive pre-seasons. The pair have both enjoyed something of a resurgence since Van Gaal's appointment, and Young even managed to bag himself a brace during United's pre-season victory over Real Madrid.
Indeed, such has been the scale of the Red Devils dramatic turnout around under the Dutchman that many are tipping them for domestic success given the fact that they don't have to worry about European endeavours. If Van Gaal has his way then the United squad which lines up against Swansea next month for the opening fixture of the Premier League season will be packed full of quality, and their early form suggests the implemented 3-5-2 system is working.