Rodgers and McLeish thrash out compromise over Celtic stars heading on Scotland duty

Alex McLeish and Brendan Rodgers (PA)

BRENDAN RODGERS and Alex McLeish have held further talks about Celtic players taking part in Scotland’s end-of-season games against Peru and Mexico.

The pair met at the end of last week to thrash out a compromise about how many Hoops’ stars will travel.

It looks increasingly likely that Kieran Tierney and James Forrest, who have both played more than 50 games already this season, will be told to stay at home and rest.

Rodgers wants his men fresh for the Champions League qualifiers, and it is in McLeish’s interest to have them on top form when the UEFA Nations League campaign kicks off in September.

The Celtic boss said: “I had a good chat with Alex last Wednesday. I was open with my preference in terms of where it sits and where it’s at, but you understand that it’s also the careers of players.

“We’ll find a solution that will be balanced.

“There are some of the guys that will want the games, because they will maybe have missed chunks of the season. But there will be other boys, who have played lots of games since last June, that won’t need them.

“It would be beneficial for both Celtic and Scotland if they have the breather, because very quickly they will be back into it again.

“Then they are going to be needed in the proper games coming into the autumn.

“It’s always the case that if you have a few of your teams doing well, then hopefully that can help the national team.

“What I love about the Scottish boys is that they are very patriotic. They actually love playing for Scotland, and I think there is a real core of players there that can do very, very well.”

Stuart Armstrong and Leigh Griffiths, who both missed several weeks of action due to injury, will probably relish the chance to extend their season by a couple of games.

The use of Callum McGregor is still up for debate.

The midfielder has also passed the half-century of appearances this term but is keen to cement a place in the national side.

Hoops’ goalkeeper Craig Gordon is undecided about his plans but gave a big hint he may well go.

The 35-year-old missed the first two matches of McLeish’s second spell in charge of Scotland because of injury.

The manager said Gordon’s absence gave Allan McGregor the chance to claim the number one spot.

Gordon said: “I’ll see how the body is holding up towards the end of the season, but I’ve not played a great deal in the second part of the year.

“So if my body’s in good enough shape, then, yes, I’ll go.

“Let’s wait and see what happens.”

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