• Premier League

Rooney fears Van Gaal frustrations

ESPN staff
April 30, 2014
Wayne Rooney's captaincy chances could be harmed if Louis van Gaal is named next Manchester United manager © Getty Images

Wayne Rooney is reportedly concerned the close relationship between Robin van Persie and potential new manager Louis van Gaal could harm his chances at Manchester United.

Rooney, who signed a new, lucrative five-and-a-half-year deal at Old Trafford in February, is thought to be worried that Van Persie will be chosen ahead of him as United's main striker - and captain - should the Dutchman be confirmed as David Moyes' successor.

The one clear success Moyes had at United was in persuading Rooney that he was important to United and that his future should be at Old Trafford, working tirelessly to rebuild bridges between the club and the striker last summer after the relationship turned sour.

Rooney had become disillusioned after Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to play him in midfield to accommodate Van Persie as the first-choice striker during the Scot's last season in charge.

Moyes also made it clear Rooney was favourite to take over the United captaincy when Nemanja Vidic departs in the summer.

However, Rooney's confidence about taking the armband will be diminished if Van Gaal replaces Moyes. Van Persie's relationship with the former manager was the subject of intense speculation and it has been noted widely that the former Arsenal striker has returned to training just a week after Moyes was dismissed.

National coach Van Gaal, who is hoping to hear definite news from United by the end of the week, made Van Persie Netherlands captain last June.

Van Gaal is due to begin his World Cup preparations on May 7 and, after confirming he would leave the post after the tournament in Brazil, called for a quick decision from United regarding his future after starting talks with the club.

Real Madrid's demolition of Bayern Munich on Tuesday and progression to the Champions League final may have improved the chances of that happening.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti is on course to deliver a 10th European Cup for the Bernabeu club but United are keen to appoint a manager as soon as possible to avoid losing ground in the transfer market. While the club stated they would continue with their transfer business as a successor is sought, the Italian's situation at Madrid will not be resolved until after May 24.

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