Wayne Rooney will captain Manchester United against Swansea - reports

England man will have to prove he is the long-term skipper

Wayne Rooney will lead Manchester United in their opening Premier League match - but will have to prove to Louis van Gaal that he is the right captain for the long-term.

Rooney, according to the Daily Mail, is the front-runner for the job because his main rival for the captaincy, Robin van Persie, will not be fit in time to face Swansea on 16 August.

Darren Fletcher has captained the side in three of the four pre-season friendlies so far under Van Gaal - Tom Cleverley lead the team against Roma - but the Dutch boss may not give him the armband full time because he is not likely to be a first team regular.

Michael Carrick was a strong favourite before his injury, while Jonny Evans is perhaps too inexperienced for the role, though the Dutch coach has been impressed with the Northern Irishman.

Van Gaal is believed to have doubts about giving the role to Van Persie, who captained the Netherlands during the World Cup, because he is prone to injury.

Rooney, now 28 and an undoubted starter, has impressed Van Gaal during the tour of the US.

Video: United beat Madrid in Michigan

The England man has previously stated he'd love to be handed the captaincy.

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

"I think he wants to work with the players and then choose a captain from there. I don’t think he was ever going to just walk in and choose a player from the off.  I’m sure he will look at the players now and make his decision in a couple of weeks."

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