Scotland manager Alex McLeish has admitted that he was disappointed by Allan McGregor’s decision to announce his international retirement, The Daily Record reports.
McGregor decided to call time on his international playing career to focus on his club career with Rangers, despite being Scotland’s number one.
The 37-year-old revealed via the Scottish FA’s website that he needs to use the international breaks to let his body recover rather than continue playing.
McLeish is now considering alternative options but conceded that he was “gutted”, adding that he hoped McGregor would follow in the footsteps of Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon.
With quotes via The Daily Record, McLeish said: “I’m gutted, not just for me but for Allan as well. I knew about his aches and pains when he came back in – his back and knee problems – and I always wondered if he was running on empty at times.
“He wants to prolong his club career. We were hoping he would do a Buffon and stay on until 40 but he has chosen to go and now it’s the chance for someone else.”
A potential replacement that has been discussed is Angus Gunn, who has broken into the Southampton side this season after impressing at Norwich City last term.
But McLeish will not go chasing the 23-year-old to switch allegiance from England, who he has represented up to under-21 level.
McLeish added: “I’m not pushing for Angus. He would have a fight to get in the team. He has other opportunities with England until the summer and he’s not making any decision.”