Football

Scotland Worried About Fulham Midfielder Being Nabbed By England

Scotland Worried About Fulham Midfielder Being Nabbed By England

Scotland have found themselves in a similar situation to that of Ireland and Declan Rice regarding Tom Cairney.

The Fulham midfielder has two caps for Scotland with both being won in friendlies. Like Declan Rice, it means that Cairney could switch international allegiance to the country of his birth. He qualified to play for Scotland through his father but was born in Nottingham.

Last month, The Sun reported that England manager Gareth Southgate is keeping an eye on Cairney.

Speculation that the 27-year-old could switch increased when was not included in the Scotland squad for the upcoming games against Israel and Portugal.

Scotland manager Alex McLeish said it was due to Cairney still being rusty following an injury which kept him out of action for the past month. Though, he did make a substitute appearance for Fulham in the defeat to Everton at the weekend.

McCleish had hoped to cap Cairney in the Nations League game against Israel. Doing so would have tied him permanently to Scotland.

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"Tom Cairney is not there because we had dialogue with Fulham at the beginning of the week and we were told he was not able to make it," McLeish told The Scotsman.

He played 20 minutes at the weekend and obviously there is the story regarding England, but we would expect him to be available for the next international.

The England thing? I guess we are vulnerable in that situation but I didn’t see any indication Tom had a hankering to play for England. He seemed happy with the group any time he came away with Scotland.

I have not spoken to him as yet. I did liaise with our performance analyst Graeme Jones. Jonesy said Tom was not going to be available.

McLeish's assertion that Cairney appeared content with Scotland will sound especially familiar to Irish fans.

"I looked Scott McTominay in the eye and asked if he was committed to us," added McLeish. "I would do the same with Tom if it came to it."

See Also: Jamie Carragher Pinpoints One Worrying Aspect Of United's Defeat To West Ham

PJ Browne
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