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Rangnick suggests Man Utd players should vote for next captain amid questions of Maguire’s future

09:46 GMT+3 28/04/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo Harry Maguire Raphael Varane Man Utd 2021-22
The German tactician has suggested the armband at Old Trafford should be passed in the 2022-23 campaign to whoever tops a squad poll

Harry Maguire is facing further questions of his standing as Manchester United captain after seeing Ralf Rangnick stop short of recommending him as skipper to incoming manager Erik ten Hag, with the Red Devils’ interim boss suggesting that a player vote should determine who fills the armband.

An £80 million ($100m) centre-half inherited a prestigious role at Old Trafford in the wake of Ashley Young’s departure to Inter in January 2020, with a leadership position passed his way within months of completing a record-setting transfer from Leicester.

Maguire boasts the experience required to accept such responsibility, but he has struggled for form in recent times and, with a knee injury currently keeping him on the sidelines, Rangnick has stated that a squad poll should be held ahead of a big captaincy call for a new head coach in 2022-23.

Will Maguire remain Man Utd captain?

Quizzed on whether he will be urging Ten Hag to stick with Maguire as United’s on-field leader when a change is made in the dugout this summer, Rangnick has said: “I understand your question but again it doesn’t make sense because we don’t know what kind of players will be here, what the group will look like.

“I can only tell you what I have done in the past when I was head coach or manager because in Germany it’s called Mannschaftskapitan – the captain of the team.

“I strongly believe the captain should be elected by the team.

“We always had a board of four or five players – we called it the Spielerrat [players’ council] – elected by the players. The player with the highest amount of votes was the team captain at the end. That was how I did it.

“I know a lot of head coaches don’t do it that way. That’s what I would do if I was still the manager next season, but in the end I’m not. This is something that Erik will have to decide.”

Should Maguire be stripped of captaincy duty at Man Utd?

Maguire has struggled to provide the necessary level of inspiration as skipper this season, with United seemingly destined to miss out on a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.

An untimely injury is also doing his cause few favours, but Rangnick has previously shrugged off claims that he could look to hand the armband to five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo on a permanent basis.

He said back in February: “Well, to start with, I must say that this is absolutely nonsense.

“I have never spoken with any player about a possible change of captaincy and Harry is fully aware of that and so is Cristiano, and all the other players.

“So this has never been an issue for me, it is me who decides the captain and therefore there is no reason to speak about that with any other person.

“Harry is our captain and will stay our captain until the end of the season and there is nothing else to add on to that.”

United will, with someone other than Maguire filling their armband, be back in Premier League action on Thursday when playing host to Chelsea.

Ahead of that contest, Rangnick has also told Sky Sports that there is no truth to the rumours claiming that he has criticised the professionalism of certain players in a report that will be passed to Ten Hag.

He has said: "This is completely false, completely untrue. The board has never asked me to prepare a dossier, neither for the board nor for Erik.

"I also never said anything to nobody criticising the attitude of the players as being unprofessional or selfish. This is not true, I will always protect my players. I have never realised any issues of them being unprofessional or selfish."

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