Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie has requested to be given a break from the Scotland international setup, according to a report on the Chronicle Live.

The winger has earned 16 caps for his country but will not play any part in the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Albania and Israel later this month.

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Scotland boss Alex McLeish confirmed that Ritchie has not yet retired from international duty, rather he is taking a break for private reasons.

McLeish said:

I wanted Matt to come in, but he has asked to be left out at the moment.

It is not something for me to discuss. He had injury issues as well, and again, there is the management of his injuries.

You don’t know everyone’s private life so you have to respect that.

The winger has started Newcastle’s last seven matches and helped them earn their first victory of the season against Watford at St James’ Park.

Scotland have already lost fellow Premier League midfielder James McArthur, who recently announced his retirement from international football.

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