Ralf Rangnick has asked Harry Maguire to step aside as club captain for the remainder of the season, with Cristiano Ronaldo in line to take the armband, according to reports.
Maguire has suffered a brutal drop in form this season, failing to reach the levels he showed during his first two seasons at United following an £80m move from Leicester City in 2019.
Metro sport reported in November that Maguire was struggling with the burden of captaining United through such a turbulent campaign and the England international’s performances have hindered his ability to lead the group.
Ronaldo’s arrival, too, has further marginalised Maguire, with many of the younger players in the squad looking to the 36-year-old before they look to the former Hull City ace.
The Mirror report that Rangnick has sat down with both Maguire and Ronaldo to discuss the situation, and the possibility of the defender relinquishing the armband was spoken about.
Maguire is understandably keen to keep his role as skipper but Ronaldo’s presence looms over him and the squad feel a change of captaincy is ‘inevitable’.
Ronaldo has a strong influence over the younger members of the squad, who idolise the former Real Madrid ace.
The likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Elanga, Jadon Sancho and Diogo Dalot are all part of a crew that look up to Ronaldo.
United take on rivals Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday, with the Red Devils looking to build on their win against Brighton.
Rangnick will address the media on Friday, when he’s expected to field questions about Maguire’s role as captain.