Arena interested in vacant Scotland job

Former United States coach Bruce Arena has expressed an interest in taking over from Alex McLeish as Scotland manager.

The 56-year-old American led the US national team from 1998 to 2006, and then embarked on a spell in charge of the New York Red Bulls before leaving that job last month.

Now he is keen to move to Britain and he told The Sun on Monday: "I would definitely be very interested in the Scotland vacancy.

"I will be speaking to my agents this week about getting in touch with the SFA (Scottish Football Association) and letting them know I am keen. I believe an American could be a success on the other side of thr Atlantic."

McLeish, who joined Birmingham last month after narrowly failing to secure UEFA EURO 2008 qualification for Scotland, meanwhile gave his backing to Motherwell boss Mark McGhee.

McLeish, who played alongside McGhee at Aberdeen, told the Daily Record: "Mark is a very intelligent coach who has had a lot of experience playing in Scotland, England and abroad.

"He also has international experience so he has a lot of the ingredients.

"I would say the SFA should go for Mark. I'm sure he would enjoy the Scotland job. He would lap it up. It's obviously a wee bit of time to wait and whether or not he feels he is ready to do it I don't know."

McLeish stepped into the Scotland job after Walter Smith found the lure of a return to club management with Rangers impossible to resist, and the Birmingham manager admits an approach from the SFA would be hard for anyone to turn down.

"I wasn't sure about going back into international football but when I got the call I found it hard to resist. I know Mark but then again there are other great candidates out there such as Graeme Souness who has marvellous gravitas which is important as far as international football is concerned.

"There are many good coaches in the system and I don't see why it can't be one of these great Scots. It would preferably be a Scot.

"I don't think they will go down the foreigner road again but I wouldn't rule out an Englishman because I don't class them as foreigners."