Bruno Fernandes might have been told that he is going to be Manchester United captain “going forward” instead of Harry Maguire, according to Dwight Yorke.

The 29-year-old centre-back started in United’s back-to-back Premier League defeats to Brighton and Brentford before he was dropped from the starting XI by Erik ten Hag.

Maguire has been battling to save his career at Old Trafford, with Ten Hag preferring the centre-back partnership of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.

The United captain, who has been sidelined due to a thigh injury, has returned to training and could secure vital first-team minutes ahead of the World Cup.

Varane picked up a hamstring injury in United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which could open the door for Maguire’s return to the starting XI.

Maguire’s absence from the United XI has seen Fernandes take on the captain’s armband, with Ten Hag a big admirer of the Portuguese midfielder.

Yorke, 50, believes that Fernandes has already been told that he will inherit the captain’s armband in the future and no longer sees him as a temporary captain.

Could Bruno Fernandes replace Harry Maguire as Manchester United captain? Credit: AlamyThe United legend suggested that potentially words from Ten Hag to Fernandes have provided him with the “confidence he needed as a player.”

Speaking to Lord Ping, Yorke said: “Before he was the stand-in captain, which wasn’t a problem. I think with the Maguire scenario, looking from the outside in at the club without knowing all the details, I think he’s been told he’s going to be the captain going forward.

“When a manager tells you something like that, then that weight comes off. So now he’s thinking, ‘Right, this is my new role.’


“That clarity is good for the team and enables him to go out and do what he needs to do.

“Obviously, I wouldn’t expect this to be an official announcement this season with Maguire at the club, but perhaps the manager has had a word with him and that has given him the confidence he needed as a player.”

United will return to Europa League action on Thursday as they host Sheriff at Old Trafford, with kick-off slated for 8pm UK time.