Laurent Blanc has revealed the five players in contention to become France captain as he narrows down his search for a new leader.
Blanc has been rotating the armband since taking charge of the side last summer following a disastrous World Cup campaign, when Patrice Evra was skipper under Raymond Domenech.
He is keen to have a first-choice captain in place by the end of the Euro 2012 qualification programme but has not been able to decide yet on the best candidate.
Blanc has therefore drawn up a shortlist that comprises Bordeaux's Alou Diarra, Lyon's Hugo Lloris, Eric Abidal of Barcelona, AC Milan new boy Philippe Mexes and Chelsea's Florent Malouda.
Grow in importance
"I'm not going to announce the name of the captain but four or five players who will grow in importance: Lloris, Abidal, Diarra, Malouda, and I hope to add Mexes when he returns from injury," said Blanc.
"Nobody has emerged and we'll see if someone manages to do that in the squad. I'm waiting to see the transfers a bit, which could change things."
France signed off for the season with a 1-0 friendly win in Poland on Thursday, following a 4-1 defeat of Ukraine and a 1-1 draw in Belarus in their final Euro 2012 qualifying match of the 2010-11 campaign.
Holding midfielder Diarra, who worked under Blanc at Bordeaux, is widely tipped to be named full-time captain, having worn the armband seven times since Blanc replaced Domenech.