Manchester United defender Ferdinand, who has spent almost six weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury that was initially expected to keep him out of action for just a fortnight, was due to meet Capello to discuss the England captaincy prior to United’s Champions League clash with Marseille at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
And while Capello has claimed to be “really upset when I saw the armband being passed around” between Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Ashley Cole during last month’s friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen, Telegraph Sport understands that deeper concerns over Ferdinand’s fitness, rather than a desire to reinstate Terry, are the driving factor in his move to hand the captaincy back to Terry.
With Ferdinand set to be unavailable for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales in Cardiff a week on Saturday, Capello is concerned that any long-term reliance on Ferdinand being fit for Poland and Ukraine next year could backfire, because of the defender’s increasing vulnerability to injury.
Ferdinand’s chequered fitness record is also causing alarm at Old Trafford, with manager Sir Alex Ferguson considering summer moves for Bolton’s Gary Cahill and Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell, whom many believe to be most comfortable at centre-half, to safeguard against the 32 year-old succumbing next season to the same injury problems that have blighted his last three campaigns.
Ferdinand, a £30million buy from Leeds United in 2002, has appeared in only 48 out of 105 of United’s Premier League fixtures since the start of the 2008-09 campaign.