Steven Caulker: Dundee boss McCann hopes defender switches allegiance to Scotland

Steven Caulker battles for possession with Celtic's Scott Sinclair
Steven Caulker (left) made just his seventh appearance for Dundee in their re-arranged game with Celtic

Dundee manager Neil McCann hopes to see Steven Caulker play for Scotland after turning down a near £2m bid for the central defender from Rosenborg.

Caulker helped Dundee draw 0-0 at Celtic Park on Wednesday evening.

The 26-year-old qualifies for Scotland through his grandmother, and can switch allegiances as his sole England cap was not in a competitive match.

"I would love him to pull on the dark blue for Scotland," said McCann, who signed Caulker in January.

"I would like to think he's open to that."

McCann admits it was a surprise to receive an "exceptional" bid for his player after just six competitive games for the Dens Park club, but says he and Caulker were in agreement about him staying in the Scottish Premiership.

Steven Caulker (left) celebrates after scoring in his one and only England appearance
Caulker (left) celebrates after scoring in his one and only England appearance

And the Dens Park manager told BBC Scotland before the draw with Celtic: "I was honest with Steven because he's going to hear reports, he's going to hear different things and he's probably going to read things. I felt it was important I told him what was happening.

"It's almost £2m it would have gone to from add-ons, which is quite incredible as he's only played six matches. But he was of the same frame of mind as I was that he wanted to stay here, he had no desire to go over to Norway. He feels he's got a lot of work to do here.

"He's played at the top level, he's a winner and he's been frustrated our performances haven't given us the results that we maybe deserve."

"While he's here and under contract we have to enjoy him and get him back to his best.

"We lost [defender] Jack Hendry [to Celtic in January] which was a huge hole in our squad. We got a lot of money for him, a club record fee [£1.3m], so we were in a good position that we could afford to turn that [£2m for Caulker] down."

Dundee helped ease their relegation fears by taking home a point against league leaders Celtic, moving five points clear of Ross County and Partick Thistle, who prop up the Premiership.

"I thought to a man they were exceptional tonight, in terms of game plan, willingness to work for each other," said McCann after his side become the third to claim a goalless draw at Celtic Park this season.

"We're well worth a point. It's a great point.

"I thought we looked really, really solid. Overall, I'm delighted with them. Couldn't be happier."

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