Craig Brown suspects Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho may have helped convince Scott McTominay to commit to Scotland.
Promising midfielder McTominay was born in England but has declared his allegiance to Scotland after a minor tug of war between the neighbouring countries.
Former United boss Alex Ferguson has been credited with a role in convincing the 21-year-old to snub the Three Lions.
But Brown, who coached Scotland from 1993 until 2001, feels Mourinho could also have exerted an influence, albeit on the tenuous basis of a conversation he had with the Portuguese while queuing for fast food over a decade ago.
“I read somewhere Sir Alex Ferguson was influential in McTominay’s decision. But the most influential guy will have been Jose Mourinho,” Brown told the Daily Record.
“Mourinho has a great affection for Scotland. He did his coaching badges at Largs and loved his time here.
“When he started at Chelsea I was at Derby and I met him at a reserve game – in the hamburger queue.
“I was watching the game with the Derby reserve team and I said to him, ‘Don’t you think you can come to England and beat Alex Ferguson.’
“Mourinho replied, ‘No chance, it’s not him or the Scottish I want to beat – it’s the English!’
“If the boy had said to Mourinho, ‘Scotland or England?’, I think Mourinho would have steered him down the Scotland route as he is so well disposed to Scotland. I believe Mourinho would also be supportive of him playing for Scotland.”
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