Cesc Fabregas could be handed the Arsenal captaincy next season.

The Mail on Sunday says Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, desperate to keep his team together, may offer Fabregas the captain's armband.

He seems to be growing increasingly frustrated by the behaviour of current skipper William Gallas and has given the clearest indication yet that he will strip him of the captaincy in the summer.

It is understood that Gallas has been unable to impose his leadership on the core of the first team, some of whom are rapidly losing respect for him.

They are unimpressed with his punctuality and his antics on the pitch, such as the tantrum he had in the 2-2 draw at Birmingham in February, when he refused to leave the pitch after Arsenal conceded a late equaliser.