Tottenham key man is leading contender to replace Wayne Rooney - report

By London correspondent Tony Hughes

Harry Kane is the leading candidate to replace Wayne Rooney as England’s next permanent captain, according to a report.

The Mail claim the Tottenham striker is at the forefront of interim manager Gareth Southgate’s thoughts as he weighs up his captaincy options.

He believes Kane, 23, has the qualities to step up to take the armband after Rooney retires from international football following the 2018 World Cup.

Kane is Spurs’ vice-captain and the Mail report that those who work with him regularly believe he is a natural leader.

Jordan Henderson will also be a contender for Rooney’s job in 2018. The Liverpool midfielder captained England for last month’s goalless draw in Slovenia, when Rooney was dropped.

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Southgate has been impressed with how Henderson has taken over the Liverpool captaincy vacated by Steven Gerrard but it is reported that Kane would have rivalled him for the England armband against Slovenia had he been available.

Southgate, England’s interim manager, is likely to be offered the post on a permanent basis barring a disastrous result against Scotland on Friday and is already planning for the future.

Kane is in line to start against Scotland even though he has played just one game since returning from seven weeks out with an ankle injury.

The Spurs talisman trained in the gym at St George’s Park on Tuesday, but will take part in full training on Wednesday which will give Southgate a greater idea over whether the forward is sharp enough to start.

Until coming through 70 minutes of last weekend’s north London derby, Kane had missed 10 games for his club, as well as England’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia last month.

In other Tottenham transfer news, West Ham have bid for a Spurs striker.