Southgate, who took temporary charge of the team on Tuesday following Sam Allardyce’s departure, spoke to the Manchester United captain on Thursday. Wayne Rooney will continue as England captain, interim manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed.

On Sunday, Southgate will name his squad for England’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia. Rooney, 30, is understood to be seen as a leader by the coaching staff, with Southgate keen to maintain continuity.

Allardyce said in August that it was an “easy decision” to keep Rooney as captain, despite England’s performances at Euro 2016. Speaking after the game, his sole match in charge, Allardyce said Rooney could play “wherever he wanted to”. Rooney went on to lead England in their 1-0 victory over Slovakia on 4 September but there was debate over what position he should play in.

Allardyce and the Football Association mutually agreed to terminate his contract after just 67 days following a newspaper investigation claiming he offered advice on how to “get around” rules on player transfers. Under-21 manager Southgate was then appointed to lead England for four matches, starting with their game against Malta on 8 October.

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