New England boss Roy Hodgson spoke with John Terry and Rio Ferdinand on Tuesday and has decided that only one can go to Euro 2012, according to ESPN sources.
The expectation is that the Chelsea captain will miss out on the European Championships, but that remains unconfirmed until the squad is announced at 1pm on Wednesday.
The exact nature of Hodgson's conversations are to remain confidential, but it appears it would be too tricky to integrate both players for the duration of the tournament given the circumstances of Terry's impending court case involving Rio's brother Anton.
Terry has already been stripped of the England captaincy, and while the FA made it clear to Fabio Capello that Terry cannot wear the armband, the catalyst for the Italian's departure, it would not block the centre-half being in the squad.
ESPN has been told that Hodgson decided to leave the discussions with Terry and Ferdinand until the day before the squad announcement to assess every option at his disposal.
Hodgson has a problem at centre-half with Terry's natural deputy at club and international level, Gary Cahill, a big risk with a hamstring injury. Chelsea will likely gamble on his fitness in Saturday's Champions League final, leaving Hodgson with a nervy wait to discover if he can take the defender to Ukraine and Poland.
A seasoned campaigner in tournament football, Hodgson knows there is no substitute for experience, particularly players who have been to big tournaments before, and Ferdinand is set to provide a wise head despite concerns he cannot play in every game of the tournament due to fitness limitations.
England's most heralded names have, by their own admission, failed to perform on the big stage in the past, but Hodgson is of the mind to give them one last chance in this summer's finals.