Capello to lose right-hand man as FA allows Baldini to join Roma

The Football Association will allow Franco Baldini, England's general manager, to join Roma in a similar position immediately after the European Championship qualifying campaign is completed.

Should England reach the finals in Poland and Ukraine next year, Baldini would be invited back for the tournament on the request of manager Fabio Capello. It means Capello faces the prospect of being without his trusted advisor, in a full-time capacity, for the second half of the domestic season, when Baldini would have monitored form and acted as the link between players and backroom staff.

"We are confident from our conversations with Franco that he will remain solely focused on England's qualification campaign," said Adrian Bevington, the managing director of Club England. "Once we've qualified we can look at it again."

The FA feels much of the preparation work for the tournament will be done if qualification is secured. There is only one friendly scheduled in the second half of the season. David Bernstein, the FA chairman, has expressed his confidence in Capello's set-up as he believes there is a difference between club and international football when a manager's date of departure is public knowledge. Bernstein also addressed the issue of players making themselves unavailable for England or considering their international futures. "I believe most players are delighted to be in the England squad," he said.

Bernstein is not attending the World Cup qualification draw in Rio de Janeiro next month but on his agenda is a meeting with Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, in the aftermath of calling for his re-election to be postponed following allegations of corruption against football's governing body.

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