Jose Mourinho has claimed that Ecuadorian star Antonio Valencia will be permanent captain for Manchester United next season.

Former United captain Michael Carrick has retired at the end of last season and has immediately joined the club’s first-team coaching staff.

but barely figured in a campaign where he was sidelined for four months due to an irregular heartbeat.

Valencia captained the Red Devils in all 39 of his starts last season with Carrick was sidelined for four months due to an irregular heartbeat.

Ecuador national team captain Valencia is now the longest-serving player in current Jose Mourinho’s squad at Old Trafford.

Therefore, the 32-year-old was now confirmed by Mourinho as Carrick’s replacement for this coming season.

“The captain was Valencia last season, I think he’s going to be the captain,” Mourinho said. “And when he doesn’t play we have to make decisions.”

“Depends on who is on the pitch, if Smalling is, if Ashley Young is, if Herrera is or Mata is, if they are on the pitch they have an option. Matic has all the attributes to be Manchester United captain but he arrived only one year ago.”

“But I never care much about the captaincy, I care more about the life in the dressing room and the leaders. The armband means what it means.”

Valencia, who was named captain following the 1-1 draw with Club America in Arizona, was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2009 from Wigan as Cristiano Ronaldo replacement.

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