Rumour Mill: Everton want Mark Warburton | Rangers bid to re-sign Ball | Alan Stubbs on Hillsborough

Mark Warburton has impressed chiefs at Everton. Picture: Michael Gillen

Mark Warburton has impressed chiefs at Everton. Picture: Michael Gillen

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Everton want Mark Warburton to replace Roberto Martinez as their manager, Rangers will try to re-sign Dominic Ball from Tottenham for next season, and Alan Stubbs makes visit to Liverpool after Hillsborough verdict.

Everton want Mark Warburton

Everton wish to make Mark Warburton their new manager as pressure grows on current boss Roberto Martinez.

The Toffees have massively underachieved this season, currently sitting in the bottom half of the league table despite boasting the likes of Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku within their ranks.

The Everton board are said to be impressed with the job Warburton has done turning around the fortunes of Rangers and are poised to make a move for the Ibrox manager. (The Scottish Sun on Sunday)

Griffiths tells Celtic’s rival to ‘come ahead’

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths threw down the gauntlet to any would-be challengers as he turned his attention to trying to win a sixth successive league title with Celtic.

The Parkhead side all but wrapped up five in a row, with a 3-1 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle yesterday. With three matches remaining, it leaves them nine points clear with a vastly superior goal difference. But, accepting that the task could be tougher next term as other teams try to chase them down, the 25-year-old multiple player of the year nominee had a simple message for anyone with such ambitions: “Come ahead!”. (Scotland on Sunday)

Celtic fans praise Andy Halliday

Andy Halliday revealed that he’s been getting lots of complimentary comments for his performance in the Old Firm semi-final - from Celtic fans.

The midfielder won the battle in the centre of the park against Celtic skipper Scott Brown, something which was key to Rangers earning victory against their rivals.

He says Celtic fans have congratulated him on the display, saying they wished their own players showed a similar sort of fight. (Various)

Alan Stubbs on Hillsborough

Hibs boss Alan Stubbs says a trip to Liverpool during the week put football into perspective as he paid his respects to the city in the wake of the Hillsborough inquest verdict.

Stubbs hailed the findings, but questioned why it took so long for justice.

He said: “It’s great that the 96 eventually got justice. But, in this day and age, we should not have to wait 27 years.” (Various)

Premiership play-off date change

The Championship’s promotion hopefuls have stated their displeasure after the SPFL shifted the dates for the Premiership play-off semi-finals.

Instead of taking place on the Wednesday and Saturday, as originally planned, the two legs will now occur on Tuesday 10 May and Friday 13 May, respectively.

It means one less day of rest overall for the Championship side who’ll make it through to the final, meaning they’ll have played five games in 13 days before facing off against the Premiership side in the final. (Mail on Sunday)

Scotland will give England a fright

Scotland midfielder Matt Ritchie reckons the Tartan Army have a good chance of upsetting the odds and running England close for top spot in their World Cup qualifying group.

Ritchie, who plays his club football in England’s top flight with Bournemouth, reckons there’s enough talent around Gordon Strachan’s side to give the Auld Enemy a “fright”. (Mail on Sunday)

Vialli surprised that Celtic showed Deila the door

Gianluca Vialli has stated his surprise that Ronny Deila was shown the door at Celtic despite being on the verge of leading the team to their fifth consecutive title.

Deila resigned from Celtic late last month, though it is presumed by many that the Norwegian decided to jump before he was pushed by the Parkhead board.

Having had success at Chelsea before being shown the door, Vialli empathises with Deila’s situation. (Sunday Post)

Rangers want to re-sign Dominic Ball

Rangers will attempt to re-sign Dominic Ball from Tottenham Hotspur prior to the club’s first season back in the top flight.

The 20-year-old is currently on a season-long loan from White Hart Lane and Mark Warburton is keen to either extend the deal for another 12 months or sign the player permanently. (Scottish Sun on Sunday)

Hearts will be closer to Celtic next year

A couple of aberrations from John Souttar prevented Hearts keeping terms with champions-elect Celtic at Tynecastle yesterday. Yet, the to-and-fro in the encounters between the sides, evident again even with the 3-1 scoreline in favour of Ronny Deila’s men, has convinced the centre-back that the Gorgie club can give it a real go next season against rivals who will be chasing a sixth straight league crown.

“I definitely think we can get closer to Celtic, we’re a young group and we will grow and learn every day,” said Souttar. (Scotland on Sunday)

John McGinn hails ‘good lad’ Jason Cummings

Sensible, smart and serious about his work are three terms never applied to Jason Cummings. The Hibernian striker’s pal and paragon of professionalism, John McGinn, would elicit such recommendations. When it comes to the seeing past the brash eccentricities of the Easter Road side’s 24-goal plunderer, then, McGinn, feels that his opinion carries weight.

“Everyone asks me if Jason is arrogant. All the time, everywhere I go, they’ll ask me what he’s actually like,” the midfielder said. “I need to tell them that he’s a brilliant boy. He’s one of my best pals now and I wouldn’t hang about with an idiot.” (Scotland on Sunday)

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