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Man Utd’s Rooney 'concerned' by possible van Gaal appointment

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By Andrew Tuft

Wednesday 30 April 2014

Wayne Rooney is said to be worried that the potential appointment of Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager could see his role at the club usurped by Robin van Persie, ESPN has reported.

Wayne Rooney

Compatriots van Persie and van Gaal are said to be close, with van Gaal currently the coach of the Netherlands. Van Gaal named van Persie as captain of his country a year ago and Rooney was in line to become United skipper next season after signing a five-year contract with the club.

It was expected that under David Moyes, who was sacked in April, Rooney would be recognised as United’s leading striker but should van Gaal join the club, that honour could go to van Persie.

Van Persie and Moyes were not said to be close and the former Arsenal striker resumed training shortly after the Scot was sacked. It’s speculated that the timing was not co-incidental.

Rooney had appeared set to leave United last summer but Moyes convinced his former Everton protégé to remain, only months before he himself was shown the door. Rooney agitated for a move away from Old Trafford after falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson. The former manager’s decision to play Rooney in midfield - in part to accommodate van Persie - was understood to be a factor.

Van Gaal will step down from his post with the Netherlands after the World Cup and is hoping for his future as the possible next manager of United to be quickly decided. The 62-year-old has managed Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, among others, winning the title with each club and the Champions League with Ajax.

He has been Netherlands Coach since 2012, having previously taken the role between July 2000 and February 2002. Spain, Chile and Australia are the Oranje’s World Cup group stage opponents.

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