Fabio Capello will travel to Old Trafford on Tuesday night and tell Rio Ferdinand he is considering stripping him of the England captaincy.
Ferdinand's calf injury will rule him out of England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales at the Millennium Stadium on March 26 and with Steven Gerrard also missing with a hernia problem Capello could turn to John Terry after seeing the armband passed to first Frank Lampard, then Gareth Barry and finally Ashley Cole during the friendly in Denmark.
"I don't want to pass the captain's armband around," said Capello. "I was really upset about what happened in Denmark, when I saw the players saying 'who is the captain?' After one year of punishment, it was not the best moment for John Terry to see this. For that reason I need to make a decision - and it will be a permanent decision, not just one game."
Although a formal announcement will not be made until the pre-match press conference 24 hours before the Wales encounter, mirroring the manner Terry's appointment was handled prior to a friendly with the Czech Republic in August 2008, it is difficult to see what other conclusion can be reached other than Terry getting his old job back.
Capello is not convinced by Lampard and does not view Wayne Rooney as a viable candidate either, believing the Manchester United star is too combustible to be entrusted with the role, no matter how valuable his overall contribution to the Three Lions cause.
Indeed, Jack Wilshere is viewed as more plausible captaincy material, although at 19 is considered far too young and inexperienced despite his startling elevation in Capello's eyes.
The England coach intends to discuss the matter with his squad next week before making a final decision.
But Ferdinand, who has featured just four times since getting the captain's job and saw the role at United given to Nemanja Vidic because of his fitness problems, should be steeling himself for the worst when the pair speak at Old Trafford.
"First of all I want to know what happened with Rio's back and when he will be fit because he is a really important player for us," said Capello. "After that I will explain to him what really happened and what I am going to do in the next week, if I will decide on a new captain or about John Terry or something else.
"Why will it be a difficult conversation? It is not because he is not a good captain. I will explain what happened in Denmark and what I think. I would understand if he is not happy. But I am the manager. I have to take decisions."
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