Rumour Mill: Celtic target last 16 | Rangers signing targets | Hearts want ‘character’

Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell. Picture: John Devlin

Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell. Picture: John Devlin

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Dermot Desmond says the Parkhead club are aiming to reach the last 16 of the Champions League, Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha has been linked with two players and Ian Cathro says he is keen to add to his Hearts squad.

Dermot Desmond targets last 16

Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond says the club is aiming to be make it to the last 16 of next season’s Champions League. He said: “That’s what we’re aiming for. That’s what the manager has set his sights on and we’re looking for continuos improvement.”

- Brendan Rodgers says he is still hopeful that Moussa Dembele will make this weekend’s Scottish Cup final after it emerged the forward had begun training again following a hamstring injury.

Rangers close in on defender

Portuguese club Vitoria Setubal say they will not stop defender Jose Couceiro moving to Rangers if the club make a £1m move for the player. The 23 year-old has impressed during his one season at the club after moving from Benfica’s second team. (Record)

Mexican midfielder Pena on Rangers radar

Rangers have been linked with a move for £6m rated Carlos Pena who has 19 caps for Mexico. The Ibrox club would have to appeal for a working permit for the player as he has not played in 75 per cent of his

country’s internationals over the last two years. The 27 year-old is currently on loan at Club Leon after a move to Chivas Guadalajara didn’t work out. (Mail)

Cathro keen to bring in players with “character”

Hearts boss Ian Cathro says he will add a number of new additions to his squad over the summer but will focus on bringing in quality and ensuring incoming players have the character to turn games. He said: “We have been helped a little bit [in terms of numbers] because we have a couple of the younger kids who had good experience out on loan and now become an option for us. But it’s about getting the right people and the right quality of player and the right characters.” (Scotsman)

No Kilmarnock deal for McCulloch yet

Lee McCulloch has jetted off for his summer break with no deal done to take charge of Kilmarnock. The 39-year-old is the man wanted to take full-time control at Rugby Park after a successful period as interim-manager following the mid-season departure of Lee Clark. (Record)

Dundee United to appeal Simon Murray ‘diving’ red card

Ray McKinnon confirmed Dundee United will appeal Simon Murray’s red card today to ensure the striker can play in Sunday’s Premiership final second leg. The striker was given two yellow cards for diving in the 0-0 first-leg draw with Hamilton at Tannadice last night. (Scotsman)

Promotion spot still up for grabs

Dundee United and Hamilton will battle it out in a winner-takes-all match on Sunday for promotion into the top flight of Scottish football.

A night of incredible drama at Tannadice yielded nothing in the way of goals but enough talking points to keep everyone occupied until Sunday’s second-leg, at least. (Scotsman)

Bobby Madden not distracted by social media abuse

Scottish Cup final referee Bobby Madden says he is not distracted by abuse directed at him from the stands or on social media. Madden controversially denied Celtic a penalty during their 1 - 1 draw with Rangers earlier this season. He said: “Amazingly, they’ve said I have a son – I don’t have a son; that my dad was at a game – well, my dad has actually passed away. “If someone corrects that, other abuse comes their way and that’s frightening. I’m a referee, I’m there to do a job and officiate and unfortunately social media supports this type of mentality, not just for referees but players too.”

IN BRIEF

- Celtic’s Patrick Roberts has been called up to the England Under-21 squad for the European Championship finals

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