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Sunday, May 19, 2024

HARRY MAGUIRE STRIPPED OF MAN UTD CAPTAINCY AFTER CRUNCH TALKS WITH ERIK TEN HAG

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Harry Maguire has revealed that he has been stripped of the Manchester United captaincy after crunch talks with Erik Ten Hag.

WHAT HAPPENED: Maguire initially inherited the armband at United following Ashley Young’s departure to Inter in January 2020, just six months after he became the world’s most expensive defender by moving to Old Trafford from Leicester City. The 30-year-old was a fixture in the heart of the Red Devils’ defence until Ten Hag’s appointment as manager last year. Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez moved ahead of Maguire in the squad pecking order in 2023-24, leading to huge question marks over his status as captain and long-term future at the club. Ten Hag has now informed Maguire that he will be changing captain ahead of the new season, which has left the defender “extremely disappointed”.

WHAT HAPPENED: Maguire initially inherited the armband at United following Ashley Young’s departure to Inter in January 2020, just six months after he became the world’s most expensive defender by moving to Old Trafford from Leicester City. The 30-year-old was a fixture in the heart of the Red Devils’ defence until Ten Hag’s appointment as manager last year. Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez moved ahead of Maguire in the squad pecking order in 2023-24, leading to huge question marks over his status as captain and long-term future at the club. Ten Hag has now informed Maguire that he will be changing captain ahead of the new season, which has left the defender “extremely disappointed”.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Bruno Fernandes wore the armband for the majority of last season while Maguire sat on the bench, and the Portuguese is now the hot favourite to be named United’s new permanent captain. Speculation over a possible transfer away from Old Trafford for Maguire is likely to intensify after his announcement, with West Ham and Aston Villa among those currently being linked with a move for the experienced centre-half.

WHAT NEXT? Maguire missed United’s first pre-season game against Leeds last week, having been granted extra time off to recover from his international exertions with England in June. He could be in line to return in a friendly clash with Lyon on July 19, but is likely to face more questions over his future before United begin their tour of the U.S. three days later. Source: goal.com

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