Hodgson considering Rooney as England captain in Gerrard's absence

The Three Lions boss is "pretty sure" the Manchester United striker will lead out the national team at some point in the future and sees him definitively as a striker
England manager Roy Hodgson has stated he is considering Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney as a potential captain of the national team for the upcoming friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

Regular captain Steven Gerrard will miss both matches after undergoing shoulder surgery and Hodgson has hinted that Ashley Cole will be offered the role for one of the matches when he picks up his 100th cap.

However, Hodgson says he has had assurances from Rooney about his state of mind after handing in a second transfer request at Old Trafford and with wife Colleen due to give birth to their second child in the near-future.

"[Rooney] has captained England once against San Marino in the home game and in Qatar," Hodgson told reporters. "I know he enjoyed that experience and I am pretty sure there are times when he will captain England again.

"There are rumours circulating about whether he wants a move, whether Manchester United are prepared to sell him. It's a matter for Wayne, it's a matter for Manchester United and I'm sure it will all get sorted out between them and that it won't affect me.

"I've spoken to him. I was concerned because you know that his wife Coleen is having a baby not long before we meet up.

"But he was at great pains to assure me that he was really looking forward to playing for England, that it's something that's top of his agenda, and that's enough for me."

Rooney has not featured as regularly this season in an out-and-out attacking role for United, but Hodgson says that the national team still see him as a striker.

"As far as we’re concerned, we regard Wayne as a forward, either in the advanced No.9 position, as he has for us on a couple of occasions, or possibly alongside a more advanced player," Hodgson added.

"Those are the two positions we consider him for. We know he can do that. We know he is happy doing that. But in club football things can vary."

Hodgson confirmed that Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole will also be considered for the captaincy with the latter set to notch his 100th cap, but it would depend on their fitness following a post-season club trip to America.

"It would be a special gesture," Hodgson added. "I will ask [Cole]. He's receiving his cap at Wembley before the Republic of Ireland game, it's something for us to think about."