Angus Gunn: Scotland boss Alex McLeish talking to Southampton keeper’s father, Bryan, over international allegiance

13 Mar

Scotland manager Alex McLeish has revealed he is in constant dialogue with Angus Gunn’s father over the Southampton goalkeeper’s international allegiance.

McLeish is focusing on the goalkeepers available to him as things stand, as he ponders his new number one following Allan McGregor’s sudden international retirement.

Alex McLeish is pondering over who to make his Scotland number one

Celtic’s first-choice keeper Scott Bain, Millwall’s Jordan Archer and Sunderland’s Jon McLaughlin are in the squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kazakhstan and San Marino later this month.

However, Gunn remains on Scotland’s radar and McLeish has a strong connection to the former Manchester City trainee through his father, Bryan.

Gunn senior played with McLeish at Aberdeen before travelling south to Norwich after failing to dislodge Jim Leighton, who helped the Dons to European glory in Gothenburg in 1983.

Gunn junior, 23, has featured for England Under-21s and has made 10 appearances for Southampton since his big-money summer switch, so playing for the land of his birth appears to be his priority.

Angus Gunn, son of Bryan, has yet to make a decision on his international future

McLeish said: “I’ve been in constant dialogue with big Bryan Gunn for over a year, one of the Gothenburg guys.

“We have a Gothenburg group and the other players tease him about it, then I have to send a private (message) saying ‘Does Angus want to play for Scotland?’

“But I don’t really want to talk about guys who are not available to us at the moment, and get right behind the three goalkeepers we have, who are all terrific players.

Gunn Sr played six times for Scotland and has been in constant dialogue with McLeish about his son, Angus

“There would be no guarantee Angus would walk into the number one spot.

“He is still going through a maturity process, being at Norwich on loan from Man City and then getting a fantastic move. That must have empowered him.

“He would think he can now rise to a different level, but our three goalies have been playing regularly, and playing to a very good standard.”

Allan McGregor forces Scotland to look for new no.1 as he announces retirement from international duty

12 Mar

Allan McGregor has decided to retire from international football.

The 37-year-old Rangers goalkeeper announced the end of his Scotland career on the eve of manager Alex McLeish naming his first squad for the 2020 European Championship qualifiers.

McGregor represented Scotland 42 times

He kept 16 clean sheets in 42 internationals and his final contribution proved vital as a brilliant one-handed stop secured a 3-2 win over Israel in November and top spot in Nations League Group C1.

McGregor said in a statement on the Scottish Football Association website: “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.

“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.”

McLeish paid tribute to McGregor and his numerous contributions to the Scotland team.

“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.”

The manager now faces a dilemma with previous first choice Craig Gordon playing understudy to Scott Bain at Celtic.

Angus Gunn, son of former Bryan, is believed to be open to playing for Scotland

Bain’s only cap came in a friendly defeat in Mexico last summer but he was called up to McLeish’s most recent squad after Gordon pulled out injured.

Sunderland’s Jon McLaughlin pulled out of that squad, too, because of club commitments but his team have no fixture clash with Scotland’s opening Euro 2020 games against Kazakhstan and San Marino on March 21 and 24.

Kilmarnock’s Jamie MacDonald was called up in his place but has been on the bench for his club in recent months, while St Johnstone’s Zander Clark’s chances of a first call-up have been hit by a hamstring injury. Millwall’s Jordan Archer has also featured in McLeish’s squads.

Southampton’s Angus Gunn is under consideration and it is believed the former England U21 goalie is open to switching allegiance.

Southampton sign England youth goalkeeper Angus Gunn from Manchester City

10 Jul

Southampton have signed England youth goalkeeper Angus Gunn from Manchester City, the Premier League club have confirmed.

The 22-year-old spent last term on loan at Norwich and made 46 appearances in the Championship, catching the eye with some impressive displays.

Gunn impressed during a loan spell at Norwich last season

He has penned a five-year contract with Southampton.

Gunn, who was part of the England Under-21 squad that won the Toulon Tournament in 2016, failed to make a first-team appearance at Manchester City prior to his departure.

He told Southampton’s website: “The opportunity was there for me to stay at Manchester City but I saw the potential of this club and the squad.

Gunn has been capped 11 times by England at Under-21 level

“The manager (Mark Hughes) and Dave Watson (head of goalkeeping) were a big part of the reason why I have chosen to join and speaking to them both was a big factor in my decision.

“I think the club has got a big future and I’m looking forward to getting started now.”

Leeds United transfer news: Marcelo Bielsa keen on signing Manchester City goalkeeper Angus Gunn and Birmingham glovesman David Stockdale

27 Jun

Leeds United are interested in signing Angus Gunn and David Stockdale this summer, as Marcelo Bielsa plans to bring a new goalkeeper to Elland Road.

Bielsa was recently appointed manager of the Yorkshire club, succeeding Paul Heckingbottom after his sacking at the end of last season.

Marcelo Bielsa (unattached) - 9/2
Bielsa was named Leeds boss earlier this month

The Argentine arrived at Leeds’ Thorpe Arch training ground on Monday for his first day in charge, and he admitted in his first press conference that he was not planning on making too many signings this summer.

“For the moment we are not intending to bring too many new faces in,” Bielsa said. “From my point of view the club have plenty of players on the books who I believe we should keep. The club generally have 15 players more than we need and we still have four or five different positions where we need to strengthen.”

However, a new goalkeeper is believed to be one of Bielsa’s priorities, and a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post says Leeds are courting Angus Gunn, the Manchester City glovesman, and David Stockdale of Birmingham City.

Stockdale, 32, made 39 appearances for Birmingham last season, having moved to St Andrew’s on a free transfer from Brighton in summer 2017.

Stockdale helped Brighton win promotion to the Premier League before leaving for Birmingham last summer

England Under-21 international Gunn is currently contracted to Manchester City, but he spent 2017/18 on loan at Leeds’ Championship rivals Norwich, with whom he kept 15 clean sheets in 46 league matches.

Gunn is held in high-regard at parent club Manchester City

Leeds have just two goalkeepers on their books right now, Andy Lonergan and youngster Bailey Peacock-Farrell, as Felix Wiedwald left Elland Road for Eintracht Frankfurt of the Bundesliga earlier this month.