FA: New manager will decide England captain
The Football Association will not dictate to the next England manager who his captain should be.
Reports have emerged that some senior figures within the FA hierarchy are unhappy with John Terry's position as national skipper and want him removed from the job.
Steve McClaren plumped for Terry as his captain above Steven Gerrard, believing the Chelsea man's inspirational qualities would be a major asset in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
However, certain events off the field, plus the sight of Terry grabbing a red card out of the hand of referee Mike Dean when Mikel John Obi was sent off at Manchester United this season, have raised a question over whether the 28-year-old should be afforded his exalted status.
Nevertheless, the FA are hardly likely to appoint someone with the managerial experience and mental toughness of Fabio Capello as McClaren's successor and then dictate who should be his captain or in his squad.
'As opposed to quotes from un-named sources, as the official spokesman of the Football Association, I am happy to confirm that the new manager, whoever he will be, will decide on who the team and who the captain is,' said FA director of communications Adrian Bevington.
Amid feverish speculation over the precise time and venue of Capello's planned meeting with FA chief executive Brian Barwick and director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, Bevington is trying to steer a middle course.
The FA have steadfastly refused to enter any discussion over when talks over Capello's intended appointment will take place.
However, confirmation that the highly-regarded former Juventus, AC Milan and Real Madrid coach, who yesterday received backing for the England job from both Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, has backed out of long-held TV commitments with Italian state broadcaster RAI this evening suggests Capello will be on a flight to London today.
Providing there are no unforeseen hitches, Barwick and Brooking will then notify the FA board of their recommendation.
In truth, that would be little more than a rubber-stamping exercise given Capello's impressive CV.
Then all that would be required is the formality of actually offering the 61-year-old the job.
There have been some suggestions the matter could be done and dusted as early as Friday, although that timescale is quite tight, so the beginning of next week is just as plausible.
'No meetings have taken place yet,' said Bevington.
'As you would understand, we would not want to confirm when any potential appointment is likely to take place until those talks have happened.
'Therefore, any subsequent plans are impossible to call.'