England manager Sam Allardyce says he "thinks" that Joe Hart will remain as first-choice goalkeeper for the national team.
But Allardyce says that Hart will be in the first England squad he names later this week and is likely to be retained in the starting XI, despite the keeper's club travails casting his future as England's No. 1 into doubt.
"I think so," the England boss replied when asked if Hart would retain the starting spot. "The problem for any player you want to select for England, not just in isolation but in total areas, is that it will be a concern if a player doesn't play for his team. I think that you have to have your doubts about that.
"But before I meet up with Joe I don't really know where he lies in that process at the moment, so I think that when we pick the first squad and then the lads come here [St George's Park] there will be some lads that don't play on a regular basis."
Hart's poor performance during England's disappointing European Championship campaign and his current club woes have led to speculation that either Fraser Forster or Jack Butland could start the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Sunday, Sept. 4.
Allardyce also gave his backing to Wayne Rooney, whose place in the squad and as captain have been questioned since the summer's tournament humiliation.
"He's England captain, he's the most successful England player for the last decade, he's broken every record at league level, Champions League level and international level, so yes, we should talk very much about Wayne and about how good he is, what a fantastic player he is and what a really, really good captain he is," Allardyce said.
Rooney, 30, was played in midfield by previous manager Roy Hodgson having featured there for Manchester United under Louis van Gaal, but Allardyce would not be drawn on Rooney's best position.
"Why can't we be flexible?" Allardyce asked. "I don't know why we can't be flexible.
"I think in terms of my time over the last 25 years, the success has come about by asking the players to be flexible and play in a position that sometimes they don't normally play and be successful in that position.
"In all honesty I've changed players' opinion on what their position has been and played them in a new position and when I've asked them to go back to their old position they've said 'I don't want to go back there any more'. So flexible, yes.
"If you are playing for England, sure it's about playing in the first XI, no matter where you play."
PA Sport contributed to the writing of this report.