Franco Baldini to quit as England's general manager

Franco Baldini and Fabio Capello
Baldini has been Fabio Capello's number two with England since 2007

Franco Baldini will leave his job as England's general manager at the end of the Euro 2012 qualifiers to take up a similar role with Italian side Roma.

But he would be willing to work with the team on a "freelance" basis during the tournament, BBC Sport has learnt.

England's final qualifier is against Montenegro in October, although they could face a play-off in November.

FA chairman David Bernstein said: "I would like to thank Franco for the professional way he has handled this."

Baldini took the decision with the full backing of England coach Fabio Capello.

"I am happy he will stay with me and the England team until after the qualification programme, for me this is very important," Capello said.

"We can decide after this if Franco will be with us for the European Championships."

It is still to be decided whether Baldini will return to work with England for a February friendly after the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Baldini also worked alongside Capello at Roma and Real Madrid and is regarded as his right-hand man. He speaks impeccable English and is Capello's go-between with the players and media.