Southgate plans to keep faith with captain Rooney

Wayne Rooney will remain as England captain if, as widely expected, Gareth Southgate is named permanent manager of the national side.

Southgate has been in charge of the Three Lions’ last four matches since the departure of Sam Allardyce, and has mainly impressed during this time. His brief tenure so far consists of World Cup qualifying wins against Malta and Scotland and a draw against Slovakia, and a friendly draw against Spain in which his side conceded a stoppage time equaliser.

The former Middlesbrough boss is expected to be interviewed by the Football Association today (Monday), and his appointment as permanent head coach could be confirmed by the end of the week. One of his first jobs when in position will be to decide on the future of Rooney, who has been in the headlines for the wring reasons since the win against the Scots.

The Manchester United captain played in this fixture but was not included for the clash with the Spaniards four days later, meaning he had more than w eek before his next club outing. He was pictured on the night of the 3-0 win against Gordon Strachan’s side drunk at a wedding at his team hotel, which led to him publicly apologising in the days that followed.

This, coupled with his poor form for United, has led to speculation that he could be stripped of the captaincy as Southgate looks to the future. But it is being reported by the Daily Star that the 31-year-old will retain the armband, which could also see him lead the side out should they, as is likely, qualify for the World Cup Finals in Russia in 2018.

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