KASPER Hjulmand insisted his decision to leave Philip Billing out of his latest Denmark squad had nothing to do with the in-form Cherries star's comments regarding his international future.

In an interview with Danish outlet BT over the summer, Billing admitted he was "thinking about" the possibility of switching allegiance to instead represent Nigeria, having been left out of Denmark's Euro 2020 squad.

The 25-year-old has one senior Denmark cap, which came during a friendly against Faroe Islands in 2020.

Born in Copenhagen to a Danish mother and Nigerian father, Billing received another call-up to Hjulmand's squad in August, only to be forced to withdraw due to illness.

And despite continuing his blistering form with Cherries, scoring in each of the club's past two victories to take his tally for the campaign to five goals from nine appearances, he has not been selected by Hjulmand this time around.

Denmark are set to face Moldova and Austria in World Cup qualifiers next month, with the likes of Brentford duo Christian Nørgaard and Mathias Jensen, Tottenham's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sevilla star Thomas Delaney among the midfielders selected.

In quotes translated from BT, Hjulmand discussed the suggestion Billing was left out due to his comments he was considering playing for Nigeria, insisting: "You can forget all about that this summer. It's out of this world.

"And I also took him to the last matches, where he unfortunately got sick before. So there is nothing in it."

He added: "It is not an opt-out of Philip Billing. But we have Nør (Nørgaard), Mathias, Pierre and Thomas - and these are the ones I have chosen here.

"And it has given us the opportunity to get an offensive player more involved.

"We can put Daniel Wass in centrally and we can throw AC (Andreas Christensen) up in midfield, so I think we are well covered.

“So it's not an opt-out of Philip Billing, and it has nothing to do with it this summer. That story is out of the world."