The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Rooney’s timely England captaincy lift
Wayne Rooney is set to receive a boost at the end of his turbulent season by captaining England in their next two friendlies – including the prestige date with Brazil. Manager Roy Hodgson has spoken to Rooney to check he is in the right frame of mind for the Republic of Ireland match at Wembley and trip to Rio de Janeiro, with the birth of his second child imminent and the squad due to gather on May 26. Ashley Cole will be offered the chance to be skipper against the Irish at Wembley on May 29 because he has 100 caps, but is likely to decline. With Frank Lampard due to return from Chelsea’s end-of-thought, season trip to the US too late to re-acclimatise, the armband will fall to Rooney in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard. He may then continue in the role at the Maracana Stadium on June 2. Hodgson said yesterday: “The transfer talk is a matter for Wayne and Manchester United. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s about what he does for England and how he will perform in these two matches then in the World Cup qualifiers in the autumn. I was concerned because his wife is having a baby not long before we meet up. But he has assured me he is really looking forward to playing for England, and that’s good enough for me.”
Of course, today’s papers are stuffed with reaction to United’s Player of the Year awards at Old Trafford where Michael Carrick took home the Players’ Player prize, while Robin van Persie won the Goal of the Season and Fans’ award. Many publications also features Sir Alex’s comments about his successor David Moyes, as well as Rio Ferdinand’s about his England retirement.
Elsewhere, the Daily Mail reports the sports news website of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been forced to issue a grovelling apology for publishing a story which claimed that the club are preparing a 'shock bid' for Wayne Rooney.