Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor has announced his retirement from Scotland duty, in a move that will could see Celtic's Scott Bain propelled into the main role ahead of Scotland’s Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

The Ibrox stopper, capped 42 times for his country, has decided to step down from international football.

The 37-year-old had established himself as Scotland’s No.1 under Alex McLeish but is believed to have informed the Scotland management team at the weekend that he did not wish to be selected.


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McLeish is set to name his squad for the qualifying fixtures against Kazakhstan and San Marino on Tuesday with the game being played on March 21st and 23rd.

“It’s a sad day for me to bring an end to my international career, but unfortunately I feel it is a decision I have to make," said McGregor. “I am playing over 50 games each season, but I know my body and at this stage of my career I need to use the international breaks to rest up to help ensure that I play at the top level for as long as possible.

“This decision was an extremely hard one for me to make.

“It is also the start of a new campaign and it feels like the right time to step aside and allow the number of strong options we have to push on from here between the sticks.

“I would like to thank the manager and all of the coaching staff for their understanding – they’ve been incredible with me. It was Alex McLeish who handed me my international and club debuts, so it almost feels fitting to bring an end to my Scotland career with his support too.

“I have so many brilliant memories, from my first time pulling on the jersey 12 years ago, to our most recent success in the UEFA Nations League. I would also like to thank the Scotland fans for all of their incredible support over the years.”

Speaking following the announcement, Scotland head coach Alex McLeish paid tribute to the Rangers shot-stopper’s performances at international level.


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“Allan has been a fantastic player for Scotland over the years and has produced some memorable performances for his country for more than a decade now. “I had watched him come through the youth system at Rangers and in fact I gave him his debut for the club, so I knew first-hand how good a player he was when he made his Scotland debut.

“Time and again, he has proven himself to be a top performer for his country. His save late on against Israel was crucial in our UEFA Nations League success and it is fitting that he bows out on such a high.

“We will miss his experience around the squad, but we respect that he does not feel able to continue to represent both his club and country and wish him all the best for the future.”

McGregor's international career has not been without controversy. The keeper was given a lifetime ban by the SFA for his part in an infamous booze up with Barry Ferguson at Cameron House hotel in 2009, a move that was rescinded when Craig Levein assumed the managerial reigns from George Burley.

Scotland have not reached the finals of a major tournament since 1998 but their success in the Nations League campaign has offered encouragement ahead of the qualification campaign that is due to begin at the end of the month.

Craig Gordon has been understudy to McGregor but has fallen down the pecking order at Celtic, with Bain taking the gloves from him at the turn of the year. Gordon has not featured for Celtic since the club returned from their mid-winter training break in Dubai. The keeper was not in the squad for Saturday's game against Aberdeen because of a knee injury.

Sunderland’s Jon McLaughlin has previously featured in Scotland squads.