Celtic centre-back Jozo Simunovic has decided to reject the chance to play for Bosnia in their upcoming friendlies against Bulgaria and Senegal.

The news comes as a surprise as the 23-year-old changed his allegiance from Croatia to Bosnia last year, after not getting called up for the Croatian national side.

Now the centre-back, who was sent-off against Rangers on Sunday and who has been toiling with poor form for most of the season, has turned down the chance to make his Bosnian debut, according to a statement on the Bosnian FA’s website.

“In the next friendly encounters with Bulgaria and Senegal, (Bosnia manager) Robert Prosinecki will not be able to count on Jozo Simunovic” the statement said.

“Simunovic spoke with Prosinecki and among other things, informed him that at this moment he could not respond to his call.”

Simunovic has been a mainstay for the Hoops this season, making 28 appearances, but he has struggled badly at times, most notably being dropped following the 4-0 loss to Hearts in December.

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Football Insider verdict

This story is very odd, as Simunovic went to great lengths to be able to play for Bosnia in the first place, and in the process became the first player ever to switch allegiances from Croatia to Bosnia. Perhaps he realises that his performances have been poor recently, most notably his silly red card against Rangers, and decided that he wasn’t good enough for international football. Or perhaps, and this seems the most likely outcome, the player is struggling with an injury, which he often has during his time with the Hoops. Only time will tell if Simunovic gets the chance to play international football again, but it seems unlikely.

In other Celtic news, the Hoops have reportedly begun talks with Kristoffer Ajer about signing a new deal

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