West Ham United’s Robert Snodgrass and Crystal Palace’s James McArthur have been warned about their Scotland futures after the midfielders asked not to be considered for forthcoming games.
They were left out of Alex McLeish’s squad for next month’s matches against Belgium and Albania.
The Premier League duo have left the door open to a return.
But McLeish warned: “If we’re doing well, you might not get back in the team.”
A number of established internationals were rested for end-of-season friendlies against Peru and Mexico and most returned when McLeish named his squad for the friendly with Belgium on 7 September and the Nations League opener against Albania three days later.
However, McArthur feels a Scotland return, on top of as his club commitments, would be too much while he continues to struggle with a back problem.
And Snodgrass is keen to grab the opportunity given him by new manager Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham after being loaned to Aston Villa last season following his January 2017 transfer from Hull City.
“Snoddy is back in the West Ham team, he is back in their plans,” McLeish said. “Let us see how the next month goes.
“I think you understand when there are personal reasons as well. I need everybody who is going to be involved in these games to have the right mentality.
“They have to be absolutely 100% wanting to play and ready to play for Scotland. We need that, but Snoddy isn’t far away.
“I said I would look at them in the next month. He has left the door open as well.”
Both players last played for Scotland in a 2-2 draw in Slovenia in October and McLeish believes they are taking a gamble with their international futures by not playing next month.
“I had a good conversation with James McArthur and he is opting out because he has had issues with his body,” he said. “He is at a stage of his career where players tend to know what they need much more.
“That was a bit of a blow because James has been in good form over the last couple of years. He has been very steady and makes it looks effortless at times.
“I had a chat with Snoddy and he wanted to wait and see before he really committed himself to come back in.
“Those were the conversations I had with them leading into the summer. At the moment, it is still the same.”