Andy Carroll set to be handed England recall for summer friendlies against Brazil and Republic of Ireland

It will be the first time the on-loan Liverpool striker has been involved since October

Andy Carroll will be handed an England recall when Roy Hodgson announces his 22-man squad for the friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil later today.

It will be the first time Carroll has been involved since the World Cup qualifier in Poland last October, when the burly forward was an unused substitute.

Carroll has ended the season at West Ham in fine form, though, and will bring additional steel to a squad that is also expected to include at least one new face, which could turn out to be Swansea midfielder Wayne Routledge.

With Ashley Cole due to be presented with the 100th cap he won against Brazil in February, Hodgson has not discounted the possibility of asking the Chelsea left-back if he wants to be captain against the Irish.

Cole has never shown any inclination to take on the skipper's role, still less get involved in the media obligations that come with it.

And the added complication is that Cole and club colleague Frank Lampard will not even arrive in the UK until Sunday afternoon, before heading straight to St George's Park, doubtless jet-lagged from a Transatlantic flight following the second of Chelsea's post-season friendlies against Manchester City.

It puts Wayne Rooney in pole position to carry out the role for the third time despite the difficulties he has been experiencing at Manchester United.

"He knows he is right up there," Hodgson said.

"He has captained England once for me, at home to San Marino.

"I know he enjoyed that experience and I am pretty sure there are times when he will captain England again."

At least it will provide some kind of distraction for Rooney, who went to see retiring United boss Sir Alex Ferguson three weeks ago and asked for a transfer.

Ferguson has already confirmed the request has been turned down, but urged the 27-year-old to get away in the summer and sort his head out.

That point was reinforced at the weekend by Hodgson's assistant Gary Neville, who claimed Rooney has not been mentally right for weeks.

"There are rumours circulating about whether he wants a move and if Manchester United are prepared to sell him," Hodgson said.

"I am not prepared to start making public statements about what I think is best for him.

"It's a matter for Wayne and Manchester United. I'm sure it will all get sorted between them.

"As far as I am concerned, it's about what he does for England."

Rooney has spoken to Hodgson to assure him the impending birth of his second child will not prevent him from meeting up.

"I was concerned but Wayne was at great pains to assure me that he was really looking forward to playing for England and it's something that's at top of his agenda," Hodgson added.

"That's enough for me. I've no reason to doubt him."

PA

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