The Football Association insist Fabio Capello will have the final say on who should captain England in this month's Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales amid growing speculation John Terry could get the armband back.
Skipper Rio Ferdinand is virtually certain to miss the encounter at the Millennium Stadium on March 26 as he is only just ready to return to training following a calf injury that has kept the Manchester United defender out for six weeks. Ferdinand's deputy, Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, is already sidelined after undergoing a groin operation.
The Daily Mail suggested on Saturday that Capello is considering whether to re-appoint Terry less than 14 months after stripping him of the honour in the wake of a well-publicised personal scandal and, while there has been no official comment from the FA, they privately insist the matter is one for Capello to determine and will back the Italian in his choice.
On the basis of what happened in Denmark last month, Terry's Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard would get the armband, with either Wayne Rooney or Gareth Barry being appointed vice-captain for a double-header that also includes a friendly against Ghana at Wembley on March 29.
It is a delicate decision for a number of reasons, not least because Lampard in particular has plenty of experience of doing the captain's job at Chelsea when Terry has been missing.
Yet it cannot have escaped Capello's attention that Terry has featured in eight of the 13 games England have played since he lost the captaincy, compared to Ferdinand, who has only managed four appearances.
His leadership qualities are beyond question, even if he was publicly slapped down by Capello when he spoke of concerns about life in England's Rustenburg training camp during the ill-fated World Cup campaign.
A final decision is yet to be made, with Capello not due to name his squad until March 20.
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