Rio Ferdinand will find out tonight whether he is to become Manchester United’s next captain.
It had always been assumed when Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs finally ended their stellar careers, Ferdinand would inherit the coveted armband.
Yet, even though Neville and Giggs still have plenty to contribute, Alex Ferguson has decided he needs a regular on-pitch leader and has decided to pass on the armband.
Nemanja Vidic has done the job so far this season and looked quite impressive in the role.
But with Ferdinand ready to return after recovering from the knee injury that wrecked his World Cup, Ferguson has a decision to make ahead of the Champions League clash with Scottish champions Rangers.
“Over the last two or three years we have had to pass the baton along the line a few times,” said Ferguson.
“We have not had a consistent captain. With all due respect to Gary Neville, he knows and I know, we don’t play him every week and I am looking for someone who does.”
If Ferdinand did miss out it would be a major blow at a time when his credentials as England skipper are also in question following the outstanding manner Steven Gerrard has led the Three Lions over the past few months.
Vidic’s fitness has been far more reliable and he also has the experience of skippering the Serbian national team.
Not that Ferguson is giving much away.
“Do you complicate things on purpose?” he laughed, when asked whether Ferdinand or Vidic was going to get the job.
“No comment. I haven’t even discussed it.”
Talk of Neville and Giggs being passed over inevitably prods them towards the end of their amazingly successful time at Old Trafford.
Ferguson hopes it will be two seasons before that day arrives.
However, after a couple of summers emphasising there is no value in the transfer market, that is when he anticipates having to spend big money to buy replacements.
“We are not at the point where we have to go overboard to get the best player in the world,” said Ferguson.
“There are enough really top players in the club at the moment.
“There may be a time in the next couple of years where we have to stretch ourselves, particularly when Ryan, Paul and Gary retire.
“Then, it is a possibility we would need to get really top players in to galvanise the younger ones coming through.”