Wayne Rooney admits he wants to be the next Manchester United captain, with Nemanja Vidic leaving the club at the end of the season.
The England international has been at Old Trafford since the summer of 2004, when Sir Alex Ferguson paid around £26million to recruit him from Everton. Although he has twice supposedly sough to leave the Reds in the past four years, he recently signed a new contract which will effectively see him play out the rest of his career at the club.
By this time Rooney will likely have beaten Sir Bobby Charlton’s long-standing goalscoring record, and he has also revealed he hopes to soon be handed the captaincy. This is currently in the possession of Vidic, but the Serbian will join Internazionale in the summer and there is also uncertainty over the future of his deputy, Patrice Evra.
With United currently in the midst of a transitional period, there appears to be few options available to David Moyes other than the player he nurtured at Goodison Park. And whilst Rooney would accept whichever decision the Scottish coach arrives at in the summer, he is ready to take the honour and lead the team into a new era.
“I’ve done it a few times and, if the manager wants me to be the captain, I would have no problem with that,” Rooney told club magazine Inside United. “I would take it with both hands. However, it is down to the manager, because it’s his decision on whoever he feels is the right person to lead the team. I’m sure he’ll decide when the time comes.”
As well as Vidic and Evra, there are also doubts over the future of another potential captain, Robin van Persie. Rumours that the Holland international is no longer happy with life in Manchester have been doing the rounds for much of the season, with some reports even claiming he wants to return to Arsenal when the window reopens.
Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs, previous wearers of the armband, are also expected to quit in the summer, whilst Phil Jones, who has the potential to be a fine leader, remains a little too inexperienced and injury-prone, not to mention the fact his place in the side is uncertain. Darren Fletcher has had health issues of his own in recent years, whilst Michael Carrick is 33 in July, leaving Rooney as the obvious choice to be skipper.