David de Gea would relish Manchester United captaincy
Red Devils goalkeeper says it would be 'amazing' to replace Valencia as skipper
With the skipper's armband up for grabs, goalkeeper David de Gea has admitted that it would be "amazing to be captain of a club like Manchester United".
The record 20-time English champions are without a skipper since right-back Antonio Valencia left the club at the end of last season.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the lookout for a new leader and flagged Paul Pogba as one of "a few possibilities" to take over from the Ecuadorian.
De Gea is one of United's longest serving players - alongside vice-captain Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones - having been at United since signing from his boyhood club Atletico Madrid for £18.9 million (S$32.1m) in 2011.
He is also the most vaunted of the bunch, having been voted the club's Player of the Year in four of the past six years, despite a dip in form at the end of last season, which was punctuated by uncharacteristic errors.
When asked if he would like to be Valencia's replacement, the 28-year-old said: "I've been captain for some games.
"Of course, it is amazing to be captain of a club like Manchester United and defend this badge.
"It's amazing, so of course, I'll be really really happy to be captain."
De Gea was speaking at an event for United's official vision partner Maui Jim at Fullerton Bay Hotel yesterday.
Widespread reports in the British media yesterday have suggested that he is on the verge of signing a reported six-year, £375,000-a-week contract extension that will make him the world's highest-paid goalkeeper .
When asked if he is likely to take on a greater leadership role this season, the Spaniard said: "Yes, probably.
"It's my ninth season with Man United, it's a long time.
"I feel strong, I feel much better with time.
"Now I'm one of the oldest in the team, I feel like one of the most experienced players.
"I need to show that on the pitch and try to help the young guys know what Manchester United means, and that's important.
"We have to improve a lot. We are Manchester United, we need to fight for trophies.
"When you put on this badge, that's what it means - fight for everything, give your best... and bring the team again to the top."
United have been a long way from the top in recent times, finishing sixth in the English Premier League last season, as they failed to challenge for silverware on any front.
Solskjaer's directive to change that has so far been reaping fruit in pre-season, with the Red Devils winning their first three friendly games, scoring seven and conceding none.
The last of those matches was a 1-0 win over Inter Milan in the Singapore leg of the International Champions Cup at the National Stadium last Saturday.
Solskjaer has highlighted that he has worked his team hard during pre-season because they were unable to meet his demands of pressing without the ball during the tail end of last season, which featured a string poor results.
Another thing the Norwegian has been working on is keeping the ball better and building from the back.
Said de Gea: "I think this pre-season we're trying to have more of the ball, to keep the ball, to build from the back, to keep control of the game - things we didn't have last season.
"We have to improve a lot on this. We are working really hard in this pre-season, and hopefully we can show (it in) the first game against Chelsea that we have improved a lot from last season."
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