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Rangnick speaks on Ronaldo replacing Maguire as captain



Ralf Rangnick has no plans to replace Harry Maguire as Manchester United captain despite calls for Cristiano Ronaldo to take the armband after his rousing comments this week.


Ronaldo called on his United team-mates to raise their game and secure a top-three finish in an explosive interview with Sky Sports, while also suggesting the club’s younger players are struggling to accept criticism behind the scenes.

His words certainly impressed the Old Trafford faithful, who now want Rangnick to make him captain on a permanent basis.

The Portugal star has recently been leading the side in Maguire’s absence, but Rangnick sees no reason to replace his current skipper when he returns from injury.

‘Right now, I don’t see a reason to do that because Harry has been the captain so far and as long as Harry is playing he will be the captain,’ the United interim boss said.

‘And if he’s not playing then someone else will have to be the captain. This can change from game to game just depending on who is playing.

‘It’s not only Cristiano we have. Edinson [Cavani], we have. Harry, we have, quite a few other older players, David de Gea in goal, Victor Lindelof, Bruno [Fernandes].

‘We have enough experienced older players who can not only be role models themselves in training, on the pitch and in games, but also in all those conversations that happen in the locker room or when they are together in the hotel for away games or home games, this has to happen.

‘In a team, in a united team that happens automatically and I can only invite and challenge and tell all the players, also the older players, to do that on a regular basis because that helps even more so in a team that we have currently.’

United are set to go away to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, and Rangnick expects Ronaldo and Maguire – who both missed their FA Cup win over Steven Gerrard’s side in the week – to be fit.

‘I think they will be available,’ he said. ‘They only trained yesterday (Thursday) for the first time – Cristiano yesterday, Harry the day before yesterday. ‘We have to wait for the final training session, but they should be available.’

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