International boss speaks on availability of injured Newcastle United star

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An international head coach has given his thoughts on the availability of an injured Newcastle United player in a recent press conference.

Newcastle United star Harvey Barnes is currently out of action until 2024 with a major ankle injury. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t still stealing the headlines - especially with his international status hanging in the balance.

He is thought to be considering switching allegiances to Scotland - and Tartan Army boss Steve Clarke is also thought to be monitoring his progress.

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How is Harvey Barnes eligible for Scotland?

Barnes is eligible to represent both England and Scotland internationally. While he is English by birth, both of his maternal grandparents were born in Scotland. Additionally, Barnes himself is thought to be ‘keen’ on the idea of joining the Scottish national setup [via The Times].

While Barnes is capped by England, he has only made one appearance for the Three Lions. His sole international outing came during a friendly game against Wales, where England won 3-0 - as such, it is not counted as a competitive game, meaning that Barnes is still free to represent whoever he wants on the world stage.

What did Steve Clarke have to say regarding Harvey Barnes?

Speaking on Harvey Barnes in a recent press conference, Clarke said [via The Scotsman]: “I like what I have but I’m never going to close my eyes and ears to something that might improve us in the future. But everybody is always trying to get me to pick other people. I like the squad I’ve got. I like what they give me and what they give their country. I like the fact they turn up every time.

“Sometimes they don’t get minutes on the pitch and they still come and they still support the rest of the lads. I like what I have but I’m never going to close my eyes and ears to something that might improve us in the future.”

However, Clarke also noted Barnes’ injury status, saying: “It is not a conversation for now. It’s not really a conversation going forward. Like I say, I like the squad I’ve got.”

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