Football

Rooney wants United armband

AMBITION: Wayne Rooney believes Man United have the ability to win the league title under Louis van Gaal this season.

Wayne Rooney is keen to be named Manchester United's new captain and is confident the team can challenge for the Premier League title this season.

The departure of Nemanja Vidic to Inter Milan this summer has left United needing to appoint a new skipper and manager Louis van Gaal is taking his time before making a decision.

Robin van Persie, who was van Gaal's captain for Holland at the World Cup, is a contender for the job, while long-serving midfielder Darren Fletcher wore the armband in last week's win over Los Angeles Galaxy.

Rooney has captained United in the past and he is hoping to be given the role on a permanent basis.

"Of course, I would like the captaincy, but it's the manager's decision who he chooses," said Rooney.

"I think he wants to work with the players and then choose a captain from there."

United finished seventh last season as David Moyes failed to see out the campaign and van Gaal has been charged with the task of turning the ship around.

Rooney said: "We can win the title. Last season was a bad one, we know that, but we are confident we can put it right. We have to believe we can win the title."

Rooney has been impressed by the initial impact of van Gaal.

"Louis van Gaal has been great. I've only had a few days, but he's a strong guy who has been good in training and it's been enjoyable," said the striker.

"He is bringing in a new style of play and wants us all to adapt to that and that's been enjoyable.

"He's very honest in training. If you are not doing well, he will tell you but, if you do well, he will praise you. If you aren't doing things right in training, you need to know so that you can put them right."

Meanwhile, van Gaal looks set to speak to Jose Mourinho over his claim that signing Luke Shaw would have "killed" Chelsea.

Shaw became the fourth-most expensive defender in history this summer when he signed for United for an initial fee of £27 million ($57m).

Mourinho revealed that Chelsea pulled out of a bid to sign the player due to his wage demands of around £100,000 a week.

"If we pay a 19-year-old boy what we were being asked for, to sign Luke Shaw, we are dead," Mourinho was quoted as saying in the British press.

Van Gaal refused to get drawn into a public war of words with Mourinho - a former protege of his at Barcelona.

"I don't think I have to discuss things in the media, it's better to discuss it with Jose," said the Dutchman. - Wire Services.