Scott Brown has targeted the 2018 World Cup finals as the perfect way to end his international career.

The Celtic and Scotland captain claimed there was some mischief-making going on in the aftermath of the failure to reach the European Championships this summer. Rumours that the curtain was coming down on Brown’s international career appear premature with the player insisting that he has another campaign in him.

And Brown believes that helping Scotland to qualify for a major international tournament would go some way to repaying Gordon Strachan for the role the national manager has played throughout the 30-year-old’s career.

Laughing at the rumours he was set to announce his retirement from international football in the wake of the failure to make it to France this summer, Brown, who will gain his 50th cap with his next international appearance, joked: “The manager chucked a couple of things out there to see what would come back and everybody jumped on the bandwagon.

“It was fun to listen to for a while but eventually I got bored to listening to talk of me retiring. I was never going to retire. Gordon is the manager and the one who brought me to Celtic. He I pretty much the reason I am still here. I still speak to him on a regular basis with Scotland and even when he left here I still spoke to him. He was willing to help me through tough times as well as good times. Now I would love to help him get to the World Cup. That would be the best thing in the world and the icing on the cake. That would be us evens.

“A lot of people came to me and asked why I was focussing on Scotland so much now when I am coming to the end of my career. But I’m not coming to the end of my career. I have six or seven years left and I am enjoying it.

“I feel as fit as I ever was and still doing as much running now as I did when I first signed here. I am still an international, playing 60 to 65 games a season, getting two weeks holiday and if I get four it wouldn’t be for the best – I’d be lucky to be here.”