New Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists John Terry will always remain the club's captain, but will not offer the defender any selection guarantees.
Mourinho, who has signed a four-year contract on his return to Stamford Bridge, is keen to re-establish Terry as a key figure in the squad, after the centre-half, 32, was marginalised at times last season under interim boss Rafael Benitez.
However, the Portuguese coach - who guided Chelsea to successive Barclays Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 - maintains selection must always come down to individual form.
"Last time (I was manager), John was the captain by a club decision because he was born in this club, also, his personality on the pitch," said Mourinho.
"I did a simple consultation with the players, and everyone agreed on that.
"At this moment, when you say 'my captain', it's not the real world. He is more Chelsea captain. 'My captain' is the board's captain, the fans' captain. I don't think the manager's captain is the correct word.
"John is the club captain. I am more than happy with that, so are the fans, so I think he has to be the club captain.
"With the armband? Only if he plays. If he isn't in the starting XI, he won't have the armband.
"I have not thought about that (who else would take over), but it has to be like that."