Football news: Driver ready to switch allegiance to Scotland when he talks to Levein

ANDREW Driver has given his clearest indication yet that he is ready to pledge his future to Scotland, writes Moira Gordon.

The Oldham-born Hearts winger, who has been capped at England U-21 level, moved north of the Border as a child and grew up in East Lothian. He is eligible for Scotland under a new rule which allows players to be selected in the country they were schooled in for five years, but was reluctant to switch allegiances under the George Burley regime and said he needed time to decide whether to commit. He now seems keen to make his mind up.

The left winger has been sidelined with a long-term knee injury, but made his first appearance for Hearts since 7 November when he came on as a second-half substitute in yesterday's 1-0 defeat at St Johnstone. Afterwards, he revealed he is now willing to discuss his international future with Scotland manager Craig Levein.

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"I will obviously speak to Craig Levein," said the 22- year-old. "I hold him in high regard. "He was the first manager I ever had in my Hearts career and I would definitely like to sit down and speak to him. I think it will happen in the next couple of weeks. I am definitely open to speaking to him and with him in charge it will help motivate my decision and help swing it the right way."

Hibs sign Brown

HIBERNIAN have signed goalkeeper Mark Brown following his release from Celtic, meaning they now have four senior goalkeepers.

The 28-year-old former Inverness player has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal and will fight it out with Graeme Smith, Graham Stack and Yves Ma-Kalambay for the jersey. The future of the latter pair is surely uncertain.

"The goalkeeping position has caused me concern, but they can all now go and fight for the jersey," said manager John Hughes. "I'm absolutely delighted to get Mark. The experience of being at Celtic will have helped him. I think I'm bringing in a real top-class keeper."

Togo banned

TOGO have been banned from taking part in the next two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations and hit with a US$50,000 fine following their withdrawal from this year's tournament in the wake of a terrorist attack on their team bus that left three people dead.

The decision was made yesterday by the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football. Togo's bus driver, an assistant coach and a press officer were killed in the attack by separatist terrorists, which occurred while Togo were en route to the team hotel two days before their opening match.

Spurs agree Kaboul deal

TOTTENHAM have confirmed they have reached agreement with Portsmouth for the transfer of Younes Kaboul. The fee for the central defender is understood to be 5 million.