PAT Fenlon could be in trouble if he loses the first Edinburgh derby of the year, Gary Hooper speaks out over his Celtic departure, and Rangers’ new signing has big plans for the club, plus signings for St Johnstone and Aberdeen in Saturday’s Rumour Mill
Hibs boss ‘needs derby win to keep job’
August 11 could be D-day for embattled Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon, according to The Sun.
Defeat in Hibs’ derby clash with Hearts could be the final straw for Fenlon, who saw his side crushed 7-0 at home to Malmo on Thursday in their latest big defeat in a high-profile game.
Hibs conceded a total of 12 goals between the Scottish Cup final and the two legs of their Europa League tie, and one fans’ poll saw 75% of Easter Road regulars call for the Irishman to resign or be removed from his post.
Fenlon’s contract expires at the end of the season, and Hibs sources told the paper there are no “immediate” plans to replace him. (Sun)
Gary Hooper ‘had to leave’ Celtic; club ‘won’t spend big’ to replace him
• Gary Hooper has said that his £5 million transfer from Celtic to Norwich was motivated by a desire to play for England, a dream he could never achieve while playing for Celtic.
Speaking to the Express, Hooper said: “It is just really hard to keep yourself in the public eye when you’re not playing in the English Premier League.
“I’d been top scorer for Celtic over the last three years and done really well in the Champions League and I still didn’t get anywhere near a call-up.
“If I’d managed to get in the England squad with Celtic, it would have changed my thinking completely but it didn’t.
“It was hard to leave Celtic but it was something I felt I had to do.” (Express)
• The Scottish Premiership champions will not break the bank to find a replacement for Hooper, according to manager Neil Lennon.
Hooper’s move leaves Celtic without their top scorer, but Lennon thinks that replacing him should not result in the club throwing its transfer rules to one side.
Lennon said: “We’re looking and looking, it’s not as easy as everyone thinks. Yes, we have brought in a lot of money but we have to safeguard the future of the club as well. We have to be mindful of that when we go into negotiations with players.
“Some of the prices are too much, some of the wages are too much and sometimes players are happy where they are.” (Scotsman)
Saints re-sign Davidson
Scotland cap Murray Davidson has rejoined St Johnstone on a one-year deal.
The 25-year-old midfielder failed to attract any offers in England, so has returned to McDiarmid Park.
Saints boss Tommy Wright said: “He put pen to paper yesterday morning before the Europa game and it’s great to have him back.”
“He was always in touch with the chairman and I over the summer and he told us that if nothing came his way down south then Saints were the only team in Scotland he would sign for.” (BBC)
Mohsni wants Rangers ‘back where they belong’
Rangers’ latest signing Bilel Mohsni has said he intends to help the club return to the top of Scottish football.
Mohsni, who does not officially sign for Rangers until their registration embargo ends in September, has featured extensively as a trialist in pre-season games.
He said: “I’m very happy to sign for Rangers. I have agreed for two years and I think it is a chance to prove that I can play in the top league and be a part of the squad.
“It would be amazing to be one of the players who help Rangers back to where Rangers belongs.” (Scotsman)
Celtic boss to Green Brigade: ‘Stop letting off flares’
Neil Lennon has waded into the row over Celtic’s ‘ultras’, the Green Brigade, after the club’s Champions League qualifier against Cliftonville saw more pyrotechnics launched from the group’s section at Parkhead.
Lennon said: “People look as though they enjoy themselves and they do add a lot to the stadium, I have been very vociferous in my support of that section in particular.
“But there are things they cannot do. We are not being over-critical but there are lines to be drawn and they can’t cross them any more.”
“I’m not a big fan of fireworks. I’m not a big fan of flares being let off in a crowded area. It doesn’t do the players any good, it stops the game. It’s just not necessary.” (Scotsman)
Hector signing ‘Aberdeen’s last of window’
Aberdeen have signed Reading defender Michael Hector on loan, a move which manager Derek McInnes says concludes the Dons pre-season recruitment.
The 21-year-old centre-half is Aberdeen’s 11th signing of the summer transfer window. (BBC)