CHARLIE MULGREW is the solitary Celtic player in Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Italy and France.
The former Hoops boss has done his old sides a massive favour by leaving out Celtic skipper Scott Brown, 40-goal Leigh Griffiths, Craig Gordon, James Forrest and Kieren Tierney, who made his international debut against Denmark in March. No Aberdeen players have been selected either but there are places for two “Rangers” players.
Strachan obviously believes the players deserve a well-earned break before the Champions League qualifiers in July while Aberdeen face qualifying for the Europa League. “Rangers” would have numerous hurdles to get over IF they beat Hibs in the Scottish Cup Final before they would be allowed to play in European football. This looks set to be the story of the summer.
Mulgrew, of course, has missed a chunk of the campaign with injury and could probably do with some game time. He played in both the recent Scotland games against the Czech Republic in Prague and the Danes at Hampden.
He came off at half-time in the 3-2 win over Aberdeen at the weekend and wasn’t risked on the bumpy surface of McDiarmid Park last night. However, he could figure in Sunday’s five-in-a-row title celebrations against Motherwell at Parkhead.
The 30-year-old versatile defender is out of contract next month and will have to wait until Ronny Deila’s successor is put in place before talks on an extension can take place.
Premier League duo Bournemouth, with former Hoops fans’ favourite Artur Boruc agreeing a new deal last week, and West Brom are keeping an eye on developments.
The Scots will play Italy in Malta on Sunday, May 29, and France in Metz on Saturday, June 4.