Bruno Fernandes has been chosen as Manchester United’s new captain by Erik ten Hag, the manager promoting the Portuguese from his deputy role to be Harry Maguire’s replacement.

Fernandes has been the de facto captain since Ten Hag ended the defender’s status as an automatic choice after two matches of last season, the playmaker wearing the armband in 45 matches in the 2022-23 campaign.

Fernandes has scored 64 goals and made 54 assists in 185 United games since joining in January 2020 and has twice won the club’s Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.

Meanwhile Andrew Cole has criticised Manchester United for signing ageing strikers in Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with the club ambassador pointing to his era when he was one of a trio of young centre-forwards under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ronaldo was 36 when acquired in summer 2021 by Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and Ibrahimovic 34 on being recruited by José Mourinho, five years before. Cole, who will be with United on their US tour, was 23 when Ferguson bought him from Newcastle in January 1995. Solskjær was the same age when the manager added him in July 1996, and Dwight Yorke 26 when purchased two years later.

Erik ten Hag is yet to acquire the centre-forward he is targeting in this window after abandoning the intent to sign Tottenham’s Harry Kane, who is 30 next week.

“I’m not going to say that if Harry Kane became available for the right money I’d turn him down, obviously not,” Cole told MUTV. “But I think what Manchester United have been doing, for the past five or six years, is bringing people in who are in their mid-30s or late-30s for a couple of years, then we do it again the season after and we do it again.

“That’s why we’ve found ourselves in this position now. Long term, we’ve not looked for that young centre-forward who can carry Manchester United in for the next five to 10 years or whatever it may be. That’s what Manchester United has been built on – the manager going into a season with three or four strikers.

“You’re guaranteed what you’re going to get. You might move someone else on, but you’ve got someone at that age who can carry the club forward. For instance, my position, I moved on, Ruud van Nistelrooy was there [at 24 in 2001] and went on for many years.

“But we’re buying older centre-forwards for a hell of a lot of money and then find ourselves in the same position a couple of years later. This is Manchester United – we’re better than that.”

Ten Hag has turned his attention to Rasmus Højlund of Atalanta, who want about €70m (£60.7m) for the Norwegian.

United’s first game in the US is against Arsenal on Saturday at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.