• Premier League

Rooney wants United captaincy and title

ESPN staff
July 26, 2014
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Wayne Rooney has admitted he wants Louis van Gaal to hand him the Manchester United captaincy and is also targeting the Premier League title this season.

Robin van Persie, Darren Fletcher and Rooney are believed to be the three leading contenders to be given the armband following the departure of Nemanja Vidic to Inter Milan this summer.

Rooney underlined his credentials for the role after opening his tour account with two goals in the 7-0 thrashing of the LA Galaxy and now wants the responsibility of leading United this season.

"Of course I would like the captaincy but it's the manager's decision who he chooses," Rooney told reporters covering United's pre-season tour of America. "I think he [Van Gaal] 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."

Talk then turned to United's hopes for the coming campaign and Rooney set the bar high when he suggested the Premier League title should be in the club's sights, despite their dismal seventh-placed finish last season.

"We can win the title," Rooney added. "Last season was a bad one, we know that, but we are confident we can put it right. We have to believe we can win the title."

Van Gaal has made quite the impact in his first few days in charge of United, with Rooney the latest of the Dutchman's players to laud his methods following similar appraisals from the likes of Juan Mata and Phil Jones.

Rooney clearly feels he can thrive in Van Gaal's 3-5-2 system and admits it will play to his strengths.

"The new manager has been great," Rooney said. "I've only had a few days working with him, but he's a strong guy who's been good in training and it's been enjoyable.

"He's bringing in a new style of play and wants us all to adapt to that and that's been enjoyable. It was good to see it work in a game.

"Of course the system is good for me - it's great to hear him say he wants to play two strikers, as we have a few.

"It's a good formation and it's good to work on it in training for a few days. It was always going to be interesting to see how it worked in a game and it worked well, which is good."

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will meet up with Van Gaal and his squad when they touch down in Washington next week.

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