Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire are embroiled in a power struggle over the Manchester United captaincy.
It is understood interim boss Ralph Rangnick, Ronaldo and Maguire have had conversations about the latter relinquishing the armband for the rest of the season, to take the pressure off him as he wrestles with his own loss of form.
But Maguire is reluctant to do that, for fear of losing the captaincy on a permanent basis.
Interim boss Ralf Rangnick has called on Ronaldo to mentor the young players within the squad, which is understood to have led to further friction with Maguire.
United skipper Maguire is said to feel increasingly undermined by the 37-year-old superstar’s huge influence within the dressing-room, particularly with the younger players.
There is now a growing belief within the Old Trafford dressing-room that it is inevitable Ronaldo will replace Maguire – who has been struggling for form – as captain.