Steven Fletcher: Scottish FA 'wanted meeting' about cap future

By Jane Lewis and Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Fletcher celebrates after scoring against Liverpool at the Stadium of Light
Fletcher celebrates after scoring against Liverpool at the Stadium of Light

Steven Fletcher's agent claims the Scottish FA suggested a meeting about the striker's international future last September but did not follow it up.

Fletcher has indicated that he is willing to return to the squad, but coach Craig Levein made it clear in May he would not pick the player again.

"Steven said he was more than happy to meet," said agent Scott Fisher.

"But there was never a follow-up phone call from the SFA, nor the third party, to say where and when."

Fletcher was quoted on Sunday on his own Twitter account saying he would return to Levein's squad if he was wanted.

When asked if he would pull on the Scotland jersey next month if the coach asked him to come back, the Sunderland striker tweeted: "Yes."external-link

But BBC Scotland understands that Levein will not change his decision that Fletcher will not be considered for his squad even if he makes himself available.

The national boss is of the opinion that the 25-year-old was given opportunities to make himself available in the past two years but refused to do so.

And SFA sources stress that no approach has been made by Fletcher for a return to the squad.

However, Fisher told BBC Scotland there had been contact from the governing body on 24 September.

"The SFA, through a third party, did phone Steven Fletcher to arrange a meeting," said the player's agent.

"It was last year, when Wolves were playing Liverpool at Anfield."

Fletcher's dispute with the Scotland coach follows a text message sent by the striker, then with Wolves, to a member of Levein's backroom staff saying he was unavailable for a friendly against Northern Ireland in February 2011.

Miller celebrates after scoring for Scotland against Macedonia
Miller celebrates after scoring for Scotland against Macedonia

Levein said in October that the striker, who has scored once in eight international appearances, would have to make the first move if he wished to be selected again.

Fletcher has not been called into a squad since then and the coach said in May he had to close the door because he had waited 15 months for the Shrewsbury-born player to indicate his desire to return.

Levein said he did not wish to go into the World Cup qualifying campaign with the issue hanging over his selections.

However, it resurfaced after Scotland failed to score in their opening game in Group A - a 0-0 stalemate with Serbia - then followed that up with a 1-1 draw with Macedonia.

Fletcher has scored three goals in his first two games for Sunderland following a £14m transfer that ensured another season in England's top flight.

His first public comment on his Scotland future followed his latest strike, in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

Club manager Martin O'Neill last week insisted that he would not intervene in the dispute but hoped it would be resolved as he believes that Fletcher would score goals for Scotland.

Levein came under criticism for choosing Kenny Miller, the 32-year-old now playing with Vancouver Whitecaps, ahead of Jordan Rhodes, whose goals last season for Huddersfield Town led to a £8m switch to Blackburn Rovers.

Miller scored Scotland's only goal in this month's two home fixtures, but Levein still felt it necessary to hold a briefing with Sunday newspaper journalists to restate his belief that Rhodes had been over-hyped and is not ready to start international matches.

Levein had previously pointed out that, although Rhodes was a prospect for the future and had shown his striking instincts in League One, he had yet to prove himself as a goalscorer in the Championship.

The publication of the Scotland coach's latest views came the day after the Oldham-born 22-year-old, who featured as a substitute against Serbia and Macedonia, scored twice in a 5-3 win over Bristol City.

Follow Brian McLauchlin on Twitter.external-link


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