Man Utd flop Harry Maguire could lose captaincy and drop out of starting line-up

Harry Maguire faces more misery at Old Trafford as the Manchester United flop could be stripped of the captaincy, and drop out of the starting 11, under new manager Erik ten Hag.

The England international, 29, endured a torrid time in the heart of the United backline last season as the Red Devils recorded their worst-ever Premier League points tally, shipping a record 57 goals – even relegated Burnley conceded less.

The Red Devils were tipped with an outside shot at the title following the arrivals of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, but could only muster a measly sixth-place finish – with a goal difference of zero – to miss out on Champions League football.

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In response to their dismal campaign, new boss Ten Hag is anticipated to make wholesale changes across the board and will hand the power to change captain to the United dressing room. Players are set to vote on who should be installed as the club's next skipper with David de Gea seemingly the favourite to take over from Maguire.

The 29-year-old was appointed captain under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, after long-term skipper Ashley Young departed for Inter Milan, but fell victim to Ronaldo's homecoming last summer, with several fans demanding the Portuguese legend was given the armband.

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But as well as reportedly losing the captaincy, Maguire could also start the season on the bench. Ten Hag is actively pursuing a centre-back in the transfer window to provide some much-needed competition to Maguire, Varane and Victor Lindelof.

According to the Daily Mail, Jurrien Timber is Ten Hag's top target but there is an acceptance that the 21-year-old will opt to stay in Amsterdam this summer. Team-mate Lisandro Martinez and Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres are also being monitored should United fail to persuade Timber to link up with his former manager.

The Dutchman is also eager to sign two more of his former Ajax players, Frenkie de Jong and Antony. United chiefs are already in Amsterdam to clinch a £40m move for the tricky Brazilian.


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