Man Utd star, £89m flop ‘turned down captaincy’ as report reveals two reasons behind Solskjaer snub

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd pair Rashford and Fernandes
Marcus Rashford alongside Bruno Fernandes.

According to reports, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba ‘turned down’ the Manchester United captain’s armband during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time as manager.

Former Red Devils manager Solskjaer was interviewed by The Athletic earlier this week and the club legend was asked about his time in charge at Old Trafford.

His first couple of years as Man Utd manager were decent but the Premier League giants suffered a severe decline prior to his exit during the 2021/22 campaign.

When asked if he felt his players had thrown him under the bus during his time as manager, Solskjaer answered: “No. Not really. Some weren’t as good as their own perception of themselves.

“I won’t name names, but I was very disappointed when a couple turned down the chance to be captain. I was also disappointed when others said they wouldn’t play or train because they wanted to force their way out.

“There was stuff in the media after I left about how I treated some players, which were complete lies, but I had a solid, honest relationship with most of them.”

Solskjaer did not “name names”, but a report from The Sun claims Rashford and Pogba were the players who ‘turned down’ the Man Utd captain’s armband.

A source for The Sun claims: “Paul Pogba was offered it but said he wanted to leave the club so turned it down.

“Rashford was also asked to take the captaincy but he said he didn’t think he was ready for it.”

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Solskajer was given the Man Utd job on a permanent basis in March 2019. At the time, Antonio Valencia was their captain but he left the club that summer.

Ashley Young stepped up to become captain following Valencia’s exit, but he was replaced by Harry Maguire when the veteran Englishman left Man Utd to join Inter Milan during the January transfer window in 2020.

Maguire has been stripped of the captain’s armband by Erik ten Hag after the centre-back barely featured for the Red Devils last season.

The England international is still behind the pecking order at Old Trafford and he’s been replaced by Bruno Fernandes, who scored the winning goal in United’s 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday night.

Man Utd had previously lost three of their five Premier League games and Ten Hag admitted post-match that this Burnley match was a “must-win” for his side. 

“This was a must-win and we knew that,” said the Dutchman. “The team responded on the pitch. You could see the togetherness in the dressing room. It was a squad performance.”

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