Burley can talk to SFA

FORMER Ipswich Town manager George Burley has been given permission by Southampton to speak to the Scottish Football Association regarding the vacant Scotland manager's job.

FORMER Ipswich Town manager George Burley has been given permission by Southampton to speak to the Scottish Football Association regarding the vacant Scotland manager's job.

The SFA approached Saints earlier this week, and the chairman Leon Crouch has reluctantly agreed to allow their manager to hold talks.

Burley joins Motherwell coach Mark McGhee, former Newcastle United boss Graeme Souness and Celtic number two Tommy Burns a four-man short-list.

Crouch has told fans that he wants Burley, 51, to remain at St Mary's.

He told the club's official website, www.saintsfc.co.uk: “Taking charge of your country is the greatest honour any manager could have and if George Burley wants to speak to them then we understand.

“It would have been very difficult to say no in those circumstances and we would certainly not have given permission for him to speak to anyone else.

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“George is an experienced and valued manager and we want to keep him but we would not prevent him speaking to them.”

Burley said: "It is a great honour to be considered by your country and it is only right that I listen to what they have to say.

“There is no obligation on either side and I must stress that I am very happy at Southampton. I am not looking to move on but after receiving this approach, I felt it would be right to speak with the SFA.”

The Scotland job became vacant when Alex McLeish quit to take charge of Premier League Birmingham two months ago.

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