February 15, 2018 / 7:45 PM / 10 months ago

Scotland to appoint McLeish as manager - reports

FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer - CAF African Champions League - Egypt's Zamalek v Algeria's Mouloudia Olympique Bejaia - Petro Sport stadium, Cairo, Egypt - 9/4/2016 - Alex McLeish, coach of Egypt's Zamalek, instructs during the game. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

(Reuters) - Scotland have agreed a two-year deal with former international defender Alex McLeish to become their manager for the second time in 11 years, British media reported on Thursday.

McLeish, 59, was in charge of his national team for 10 games in 2007 and will replace Gordon Strachan, who left in October after failing to guide Scotland to this year’s World Cup.

The Scottish FA are expected to present McLeish at a news conference on Friday, having been unsuccessful in their pursuit of Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill and Walter Smith.

His first games in charge will be friendlies with Costa Rica and Hungary next month before matches against Peru in May and Mexico in June. His competitive debut will come in the UEFA Nations League versus Albania on Sept. 10 and Israel on Oct. 11.

McLeish was previously named Scotland manager during the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign after Smith rejoined Rangers.

Former Motherwell, Hibernian and Rangers manager McLeish, who won 77 caps for Scotland from 1980-1993, won seven of his games in charge before joining Birmingham City. He has since managed Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Genk and Zamalek.

Strachan, who won 19 of his 40 games after his appointment in 2013, failed to take Scotland to their first major tournament finals since the 1998 World Cup.

They missed out on a playoff place for the finals in Russia by failing to beat Slovenia in their last Group F qualifier.

Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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