Terry calls Baldini to discuss England future
Published 02/02/2010 | 10:18
John Terry has called Fabio Capello's closest adviser to discuss whether he has a future as England captain.
The 29 year-old is understood to have telephoned Franco Baldini, England's general manager, on Sunday evening following the revelations over his private life and his alleged affair with Wayne Bridge's former partner.
No decision on Terry's future will be made by Capello until the pair have spoken this week, although it is understood that the central defender may have already raised the possibility that he should resign as captain to try to end the furore.
However, as much as Terry would like to remain as captain, he is even more worried that his behaviour could jeopardise his place in Capello's squad for this summer's World Cup finals.
Terry was involved in a series of meetings and calls yesterday with his advisers and Chelsea officials as the storm over his behaviour showed no sign of abating.
By Monday night his position as captain of England was looking increasingly untenable, especially as there is the possibility of more revelations to come.
The publicist Max Clifford is in negotiations with newspapers and broadcasters bidding for an interview with Vanessa Perroncel, Bridge's former girlfriend. He said that offers had already reached £250,000 and the 33 year-old one-time lingerie model was considering her options.
"I think her instinct is that she doesn't really want to say anything but there is a huge amount of interest and she will make her mind up in the coming days," Clifford said.
Capello remains adamant that he will make the decision over whether to allow Terry to continue to lead England in his own time, and he will not cave into media demands, even if it is now accepted that he may have to accelerate his deliberations.
What Capello will want from Terry is the full, unexpurgated truth – plus any further admissions he has to make. He wants to see Terry's reaction and make sure the player is telling him everything.
The matter is complicated because Capello is not due to return to England until Thursday. He has prior commitments, most importantly an appointment today with the surgeon who carried out his recent knee operation to ensure his rehabilitation is on track.
Capello spoke to Ian Watmore, the Football Association's chief executive, on Monday and was pleased to be reassured that the decision over Terry's future would be solely taken by the manager.
Watmore and FA chairman Lord Triesman have no doubt that Capello is the appropriate person to make the decision and they will back him in whatever he chooses to do. The FA leadership is also keen to resist pressure to take a moral stand on the issue.
Although he has undoubtedly been alarmed by the allegations, and the united condemnation that Terry has faced, Capello is determined to speak to the player himself to ascertain his version of events. Capello is understood to believe that there are a lot of unanswered questions over the whole affair.
The position of Terry's advisers may also be pivotal. Their decision to pursue a super-injunction against the News of the World backfired spectacularly, turning the story into a media cause célèbre.
Terry has an important match to play against Arsenal on Sunday, with Capello due to fly to Warsaw early on Saturday morning for a Uefa conference ahead of the draw for the Euro 2012 qualification campaign the following day. It appears that Capello's best opportunity to speak to Terry will either be on Thursday evening or on Friday, following training.
What appears certain is that Capello now wants to board the plane to Poland with Terry's future determined so that the issue does not dominate the draw, and the manager's position has been communicated.
Capello, who is believed to be calm, will not want there to be any uncertainty, although neither does he want to be forced into making a decision. He knows he will face a barrage of questions either way.
Terry's camp are refusing to confirm whether he has tried to contact Capello or Baldini, who is the manager's eyes and ears and an important sounding board.
There is concern that even discussing the matter, or divulging details, given the Italian's hard-line stance on confidentiality within the England squad and his dislike of players' talking about conversations he has had with them, could anger the manager.
Capello will also want to speak to Bridge before he considers the left-back for future England squads, although the Manchester City defender has not yet returned to full fitness and may not be included for next month's friendly at home to Egypt in any case.