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Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 17:18 UK

Scots would welcome Novo switch

Rangers striker Nacho Novo
Novo has been playing in Scotland for eight years

Celtic captain Stephen McManus would welcome Rangers striker Nacho Novo into the Scotland squad.

Spanish-born Novo could be selected to play for Scotland - if he became a British passport holder.

Novo, 29, has spent eight years playing in Scotland and admitted to newspapers he would consider switching allegiance to his adopted country if asked.

"He's a good player and you want good players playing for the country," said national vice-captain McManus.

"It doesn't bother me in the slightest, you want good players to be playing for your country and Nacho Novo is a good player."

Media conference: Rangers defender David Weir

Novo first moved to Scotland in August 2000, signing for Raith Rovers from Huesca before moving on to Dundee then Ibrox.

He has lived in Scotland long enough to qualify for a British passport and revealed he would be open to representing the national side if manager George Burley called him up.

Though he has never been capped by Spain at international level Novo has played for the Galician national team.

"At present, he does not hold a British passport and is therefore not eligible to play for any of the Home Nations," said a Scottish FA spokesman.

"If that were to change then he would be considered like any other player."

If other countries are doing it and getting the benefit of it then we have to look to use it to our benefit as well

David Weir

"While our priority will always be to invest in home grown talent, if the manager wants to pick a player who is eligible and who he thinks will do a job for Scotland then he should always be allowed to do so."

Novo's comments came in the same month that fellow Rangers striker Kris Boyd said he did not wish to play for Scotland again while Burley is manager after being left sitting on the bench for recent matches.

And they follow reports that England coach Fabio Capello was interested in selecting Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta, who are also Spanish but have been playing in English football for several years.

Novo's Rangers team-mate David Weir says it would be best for a national team to consist of home-grown players but admits that the overall quality of the squad is the priority.

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"If we are all being honest, it's probably not an ideal scenario," he said.

"You would like 11 born and bred Scots and that would be the ideal scenario.

"But if other countries are doing it and getting the benefit of it then we have to look to use it to our benefit as well.

"It's the same old story. If you are successful at what you're doing, how you get there and what you use is not really that important."

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