Robin van Persie excluded from 'potential' Manchester United captains on club's official website
The announcement by Nemanja Vidic that he would be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season means their is a captain's armband to be filled at Old Trafford.
Speculation over who will replace the Serbian started immediately - and it would seem the club themselves aren't shy of fuelling the debate over who will be the new skipper.
However, an article on manutd.com which looks at the credentials of possible replacements has made a rather surprising omission - that of Robin van Persie.
Those included in the run-down are David De Gea, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Darren Fletcher and Wayne Rooney. Of the candidates, it is the latter who is expected to be given the armband, as long as he signs a new contract which he is expected to imminently.
The article points out that De Gea has "a courageous personality", Evans is "arguably the perfect candidate", Jones is often "cited as a future leader", Fletcher knows "what it takes to lead a team" and Rooney is "a player of great strength and courage".
But what of Van Persie? They could point to the fact the striker is the current captain of the Netherlands and captained his former side Arsenal. Another attribute might be that, if fit, he is a certainty to start games, something only De Gea and Rooney could claim.
The article will only add to speculation that Van Persie could join Vidic in leaving the club at the end of the season. Reports have suggested that he was disappointed to see Sir Alex Ferguson, who played a pivotal role in bringing him to Old Trafford, retired last summer.
A return to Arsenal has been mooted, a club with their own captaincy issues due to Thomas Vermaelen's problems getting into the team.
Independent News Service