Terry's captaincy boost as Ferdinand is pulled out

John Terry's chances of regaining the England captaincy were further improved last night when Manchester United effectively ruled Rio Ferdinand out of consideration for the European Championship qualifier against Wales on Saturday week.

Any change could then become permanent. The vice-captain Steven Gerrard, who led the side in Ferdinand's absence for the first three internationals of the season, is out for a month after surgery for a groin injury.

When both players missed the friendly in Denmark in February, Frank Lampard took the armband, which was later handed to Ashley Cole and Gareth Barry while Terry was ignored.

However, Fabio Capello has admitted that he is considering a change of heart after previously implying that Terry's ban would remain until the manager left next year.

It was imposed 13 months ago because of Terry's alleged affair with the former fiancée of Wayne Bridge. Ferdinand was promoted from vice-captain but missed the World Cup and has only been fit for two of six matches this season. He has not played for United since 1 February.

Ferguson said: "He has been doing a lot of running and he'll probably be ready to return after the internationals but I wouldn't have thought it would be before that. I don't think it would be wise [to go with England] as he hasn't played for us for something like five weeks."

Reinstating Terry as captain would cause similar division of opinion as the original decision, when Capello was praised for his decisiveness in sacking the Chelsea captain during a 12-minute conversation at Wembley.

Over the past few months, Capello has softened his stance from "If I remain as manager I think not" to "We must think about everything".

Terry has also expressed his anger at being ignored when the armband is handed round several different players, as happened in Denmark and in the friendly against Egypt last year.

The new Football Association chairman David Bernstein is understood to be happy for Capello to make the decision without interference and the FA's disinclination to deny the story yesterday will be taken as a further indication that it will happen.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea