Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has revealed that Old Trafford legend Sir Alex Ferguson was a key figure in the emerging talent's decision to pledge his international future to Scotland instead of England earlier this year.
McTominay was born in England but has a Scottish father and so was eligible to represent both national teams as a result. Scotland manager Alex McLeish was very keen to have him on board, and now it appears Ferguson was another who gave him a nudge in that direction.
"When I was in the development centres I was in and around The Cliff (United's academy training ground)," McTominay told The Herald while on duty with Scotland in South America.
"Alex was there and he spoke to my dad. After the memorial service for the Munich Disaster earlier this year he pulled me aside and told me: 'Make sure you do play for Scotland!'"
McTominay also had Jose Mourinho's blessing: "He told me to go and do whatever I needed to do. His advice was to weigh up both sides and go with whatever is in your heart. I had already made the decision so it was reasonably simple. I took my decision and then we took things from there."
The player made his debut for Scotland in a friendly against Costa Rica in March. Around that time it became apparent the lengths that McLeish had gone to, making the significant journey to meet the player at United's training ground in exceptionally bad weather.
McTominay was handed his club debut by Mourinho towards the end of the 2016/17 season and he subsequently made 23 first team appearances during the recently concluded 2017/18 campaign.
"The things my manager at Manchester United has done for me has been incredible this season," the midfielder said.
"He is a top, top manager. I want to thank him. I didn't want to say it on television or in interviews, but it is important to make sure he knows I am thankful to him for the chance he has given me and we can keep progressing into next season."