Australia's latest English Premier League player could be lost to the Socceroos if he's not called up for national team duty soon, warns his manager.
Young Perth-born defender Chris Herd showed his promise by turning in a man-of-the-match performance at right back in Aston Villa's scoreless draw with Wolves last week, having made his top-flight debut as a substitute against Manchester United last season.
Herd, 22, represented Australia at the Under-20s World Cup in 2009 however he is yet to earn a senior cap, making him still eligible to play for his parents' native Scotland. He appears to be on the radar of Socceroos coach Holger Osieck and Olyroos coach Aurelio Vidmar, having been named in the extended squad for the start of 2014 World Cup qualifying and taken part in a training camp in Germany earlier this year.
And while Herd's agent Phil Williams says his client wants to play for Australia, he claims Scotland are becoming interested in calling him up.
In a thinly-veiled threat, Williams said Australia should quickly stake their claim for Herd or risk losing him for the future.
"Like any Australian player, Chris wants to play for his country," Williams said. "It's where he was born and bred.
"But the reality is that if they don't call him up, somebody else will.
"The ball is really in Australia's court but Scotland are definitely interested. They have been watching him closely.
"It would be great to see him represent Australia.
"That said, it honestly wouldn't surprise me if Scotland didn't try and call him up sooner rather than later."
Herd was signed by Villa's youth program, along with fellow Australian Shane Lowry, as a 15-year-old in 2005 and has spent time on loan with Port Vale, Wycombe Wanderers and Lincoln City.
Despite continuing to show promise upon returning to the club last year - and the vacancy presented at right back by the departure of Luke Young - Herd's first team future is not guaranteed after Villa signed right back Alan Hutton from Tottenham on the final day of the transfer window.
Counting against Herd's hopes of a Socceroos call-up is the fact one of Australia's most reliable and established players, Luke Wilkshire, has the right back place nailed down.
However his versatility, having also played at centre back and in midfielder, could work in his favour.
Osieck faced a similar eligibility tug-of-war early in his reign as Socceroos coach last year, with promising Melbourne-born defender Ersan Gulum opting to pledge his allegiance to Turkey.