Louis van Gaal 'needs time to decide' who will captain Manchester United next season

Robin van Persie was the Netherlands' captain during the World Cup

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The Independent Football

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he is yet to decide who will skipper the club next season.

The Dutchman, speaking in his first press conference in charge of the club, told the media he needed "time to decide".

Robin van Persie skippered Van Gaal's Dutch side during the World Cup but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach refused to name Van Persie as the manager for next season.

"All the players are potential candidates for the captaincy," said Van Gaal. "It's very important for me, so I will need time to decide."

Long-term captain Nemanja Vidic has left the club for Inter Milan, while Patrice Evra, the vice-captain last season, is heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford. Rio Ferdinand is another who has captained the club in the past, but he too has left.

Wayne Rooney has also been mooted as a potential captain of the club but the first team squad is arguably lacking obvious leaders.

Van Gaal will be expected to lead the club back into the Champions League but he said he is targetting a title challenge in his first season in England.

"The challenge is always to come first. Not fourth," the 62-year-old said. "But that depends on things clicking between the players and manager."

Manchester United will head to the US for four pre-season matches against LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.