Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes has been named as the new captain of Manchester United, the Premier League club stated on Thursday.
The 28-year-old will replace defender Harry Maguire, who was stripped of the team captaincy by manager Erik ten Hag after the England international failed to secure a place in the first team.
Fernandes, who has 64 goals and 54 assists in 185 matches for the club in all competitions, captained in the absence of Maguire, who spent much of last campaign on the bench or injured.
ESPN reported on May 31 that United are willing to listen to offers for Maguire this summer and anticipate interest from West Ham, who made an enquiry regarding his availability during the January transfer window.
“The Portuguese midfielder has already worn the armband for United on numerous occasions and Erik ten Hag has confirmed that he will now lead the team on a permanent basis,” United said in a statement.
“As captain, the two-time Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year will continue to drive the highest standards throughout the squad as United push for success in the 2023-24 season and beyond.”
Fernandes drew criticism for his petulant performance in the 7-0 loss to rivals Liverpool in March.
United’s preseason campaign is underway, with the Old Trafford outfit defeating Ligue 1 side Lyon 1-0 on Wednesday.
United next travel to the United States, where they will face Arsenal, Wrexham, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in friendly matches ahead of the new campaign.
United will be back in action in next season’s Champions League after failing to qualify for the tournament in the 2021-22 campaign.