Rumour Mill: Dundee United cull squad | Rangers target Grant Hanley and Jordan Rossiter

Dundee United's Paul Paton is one of the players who has been told to look for a new club, following Monday night's relegation-inducing defeat by Dundee FC. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.
Dundee United's Paul Paton is one of the players who has been told to look for a new club, following Monday night's relegation-inducing defeat by Dundee FC. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.
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DUNDEE United to release eight players following Mixu Paatelainen’s departure, Brendan Rodgers overtakes Roy Keane as the favourite in the race to become the new Celtic manager and Rangers chase new summer signing targets.

Dundee United cull squad

After relegation to the Championship at the hands of rivals Dundee FC on Monday night, United has already began to cull a significant part of the squad.

Those who are out-of-contract, namely John Rankin, Ryan Dow, Guy Demel, Eiji Kawashima, Callum Morris, Euan Spark, Edward Ofere and Florent Sinama-Pongolle, will not be offered new deals.

While Paul Paton. Henri Anier, Darko Bodul, Coll Donaldson, Mark Durnan, Michal Szromnik, Charlie Telfer and Paul Dixon, despite still being in-contract, have been told to search for a new club.

Gavin Gunning and Robbie Muirhead have already left the Tangerines, while loan players Billy Mckay and Kyle Knoyle will return to their original squads. (Dundee Courier)

Rangers chase new signings

Scotland centre-half Grant Hanley, under contract with Blackburn Rovers until 2018, is Rangers’ newest transfer target - and could come with a £3m transfer fee.

The club is also looking to secure the signature of Liverpool’s former Under-19s captain Jordan Rossiter, who has only made three first-team appearances so far.

It was revealed today that Rangers have been beaten to the punch by Manchester United in signing Wizla Krakow’s star keeper, 17-year old Kacper Chorazka. (Various)

• READ MORE: The Scotsman

Celtic manager search continues

Celtic are believed to have already approached Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane, but it is thought he may already be eyeing taking over the Ireland job should current manager Martin O’Neill make the switch to Everton to replace Roberto Martinez.

Bookies have slashed the odds on Brendan Rodgers becoming Celtic manager, with most offering 7/2 down from 20/1 yesterday. David Moyes is also said to be in contention for the Parkhead hot seat. (Various)

Ray McKinnon on Hibs and Dundee Utd

Ray McKinnon ensured Easter Road will be what he described as a “nervy place” on Saturday. Hibs will now have to beat Raith in order to progress to the play-off semi-final after last night’s 1-0 defeat in their quarter-final first-leg encounter. Raith Rovers have now gone 12 games without a defeat.

He said: “That will be a nervy place, Easter Road, because I’m pretty sure they don’t want to spend another year in this division. They’re a big club, a good manager, good players. They will be desperate. They might get a wee bit edgy if they don’t get it all their own way on Saturday.”

McKinnon, an ex-Dundee United player, batted away questions about reports he is a target for the club, who confirmed manager Mixu Paatelainen’s sacking yesterday. He said it was easy to keep his focus on Raith Rovers at this critical juncture of the season.

Lee Wallace: Rangers ready for Cup Final

Rangers captain Lee Wallace believes that Rangers can turn things around in time for the Cup Final.

With the showpiece game still 16 days away, Mark Warburton’s side wound up their campaign by failing to win any of their five final matches during regulation time, losing to Hibs and second-bottom Livingston and drawing at home with relegated Alloa Athletic and away to St Mirren.

Wallace said: “We are not going to let this period cloud over anything we have achieved as a team this season. Yes, the results are hurtful but it’s not been like us. We are maybe being questioned on those fronts but it’s a challenge we welcome and one we will meet head on.”

• READ MORE: The Scotsman

Celtic to introduce safe-standing

The Parkhead side has announced that it will install a safe-standing area next season, becoming the first Scottish club to do so.

The section can be reverted back to a seated area quickly for UEFA games, as the European football body does not allow standing inside stadiums.

Rail seating will be introduced to a corner of the Lisbon Lions stand, with provision for up to 2,600 supporters. (Various)

NEWS IN BRIEF

- Partick Thistle captain Abdul Osman is delighted that manager Alan Archibald and assistant Scott Paterson have penned new three-year deals with the club. (Glasgow Evening Times)

- Teen Livingston midfielder Matthew Knox, in discussions with Rangers, has revealed he is a Celtic fan but stressed it would not stop him signing for their rivals. (Daily Record)

- Hamilton Academical player-manager Martin Canning has admitted that his heart tells him to “get back in the team” despite his fitness concerns. He has made only three starts for the club this season. (Herald Scotland)