Van Gaal on Wayne Rooney

Louis van Gaal has indicated that Wayne Rooney is the first name on his Manchester United team-sheet.

The England and United captain received the boost from his club boss ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash at Leicester City.

With a newly-assembled star-studded squad at Old Trafford, Rooney faces competition from Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie in United’s attack, but Van Gaal says that only his captain and possibly goalkeeper David de Gea are likely to be the guaranteed names on the teamsheet.

“Only the captain has more privileges but no other player”

Louis Van Gaal

“I don’t think any player is fixed,” said the United boss. “Only the captain has more privileges but no other player has privileges I think.

“Every player knows that because you see how I manage my teams – my captain shall always play and normally the goalkeeper.”

Rooney, who has fired two goals so far this season, is one of only four players to have started Van Gaal’s first four Premier League games.

Among the quartet, perhaps surprisingly, is young defender Tyler Blackett – who saw his form recognised at international level this month when he was included in Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 squad.

“There are always players you put in a team,” added the United boss. “Maybe it’s a surprise Blackett has played all the games but he has played well.”

United travel to Leicester City on Sunday afternoon, kick-off 4pm, as they look to build on last week’s 4-0 win over QPR.