Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford reportedly turned down the Manchester United captaincy during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign at Old Trafford.
The Sun reports that the duo didn't want to take the opportunity of becoming Red Devils skipper when offered it by Solskjaer. A source claims that Pogba had made it clear he wanted out of the club while Rashford didn't feel ready for the role.
Former Manchester United boss Solskjaer highlighted his disappointment in several players turning down the captaincy in an interview with The Athletic this week. He said:
“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."
Pogba endured a tumultuous spell at Old Trafford which came to an end in 2022. He spent three years playing under Solskjaer and was one of the more experienced players during the Norweigan's stint in charge. He had won the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France and was regarded as one of United's protagonists.
Meanwhile, Rashford was just at the start of his career and would have been around 21 years old at the time. The English forward is a boyhood Red Devils fan and many may consider the opportunity of captaining their favorite club a dream.
Solskjaer instead appointed Harry Maguire as Manchester United captain in January 2020. The England international replaced Ashley Young in the role despite only joining in the summer of 2019.
The Norweigan coach's decision has drawn much criticism over the years and Maguire's performances were under intense scrutiny during his captaincy. The club's lack of success during that period was often attributed to the 30-year-old.
Current Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has since stripped Maguire of the captaincy and handed it to Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese playmaker was captain of Sporting CP before joining the club in 2020.
Former Manchester United star Pogba on his departure to Juventus last year
Solskjaer was sacked before Pogba parted ways with Manchester United in the summer of 2022. The Frenchman's contract expired and he rejoined Serie A giants Juventus.
The 30-year-old's spell at Old Trafford was plagued by constant injury issues and criticism over his lack of consistency. He touched on his exit from the Red Devils and was sure he'd made the right decision, telling GQ Italia last year:
“I like to think and say that it is my heart that made the choice. It was also perhaps the right time to come back here. The last three years in Manchester, also affected by injuries, have not gone as I wanted, it is no mystery.”
Pogba joined Manchester United from Juve in 2016 for a then-world record fee of £85 million. He was signed under Jose Mourinho with many thinking he'd help bring back the club's glory days.
However, his price tag weighed heavy on his shoulders and he was in the line of fire from English media constantly. The France international made 233 appearances across competitions, scoring 39 goals and providing 51 assists. He won the UEFA Europa League and the League Cup during his second spell with the Red Devils.