NEIL Lennon warns Cardiff off James Forrest, Dave King faces crunch talks over Rangers, a Hibs star says Hearts face no pressure in their League Cup clash, plus the latest from around Scottish football in Monday’s Rumour Mill
Forrest’s not for sale, says Lennon
NEIL Lennon has issued a hands-off warning over winger James Forrest, amid speculation that Cardiff City are lining up a January bid for the star.
Lennon said: “He signed a long-term contract 18 months ago. We are months and months away from the window - he’s not for sale.” (Record)
Dave King off to London for Rangers talks
SOUTH AFRICA-based businessman Dave King will travel to London for crunch talks over a possible investment in Rangers.
King was present as the runaway SPFL League One leaders beat East Fife 4-0. He is set to meet representatives of the AIM stock market in a bid to be granted leave to become chairman at Ibrox, pending the SFA’s fit and proper persons’ test. (Sun)
Two more key players injured for Celtic
EMILIO Izaguirre and Georgios Samaras are both fitness doubts for Celtic’s vital Champions League game against Ajax in Amsterdam next week.
Izaguirre suffered concussion in Celtic’s win over Partick Thistle, while Samaras suffered a knee injury which makes him a doubt for the Hoops’ game with Dundee United this weekend at the very least. (Sun)
• Ajax were booed off the pitch after a 0-0 draw at home to the Eredivisie’s bottom side RWC Waalwijk. Captain Siem de Jong described the performance as their worst “for a few seasons.”
Stevenson: “Pressure’s on Hibs in Cup derby”
LEWIS Stevenson believes that his Hibernian side will be expected to beat Hearts when the sides meet in the League Cup in mid-week.
After his side slumped to a 2-0 home loss to Aberdeen, Stevenson said: “Hearts really need to lift their season. But they’ve got nothing to lose, the pressure is all on us.
“As low as we feel right now, a win on Wednesday would turn it all around for us.” (Mail)
Kayal backs Balde
CELTIC midfielder Beram Kayal has thrown his support behind striker Amido Balde, after the Portugal under-20s striker came off the bench to hit the winner against Partick yesterday.
Kayal said: “I think he’s great. I don’t think his head has ever gone down.
“It’s not always easy to come into the squad and you sometimes you need time.
“But he’s a great professional and he’s always trying to help the team.
Hearts: Murray hopes Ubig court moves quickly
FOUNDATION of Hearts chairman Ian Murray MP is keen to see insolvency proceedings against major Tynecastle shareholder Ubig concluded quickly.
Proceedings in Lithuania were postponed last week, but a ruling is expected at a court in the capital Kaunas today.
Murray said: “To build yourself up to a decision being made, and then it is postponed, is frustrating. And I am sure it is worse for the fans, who are desperate for information. The fear is that it drags on any longer than this week.” (Scotsman)
Hearts warned to prepare for relegation
HEARTS need to brace themselves for a season in the SPFL Championship, according to The Herald’s Michael Grant.
Grant believes that the Gorgie side’s relegation from the Premiership is a foregone conclusion as they fail to make headway into their 15-point administration deduction.
Grant writes: “Hearts are going down… they have the form and statistics of a team in desperate trouble. It’s nine weeks since they won a game (without the need of penalties).
He adds: “The worry, already, is whether one season out of the top flight would be only one.” (Herald)
Rangers ‘need plan for King money’
RANGERS need to carefully plan their spending of any potential financial boost from Dave King, says The Mail’s John Greechan.
Greechan writes: “They could invest it wisely in the kind of financial and footballing infrastructure that will keep the family name in good standing for decades to come.
“Or they could gamble it all on games of chance, banking on big wins and ever more tempting pots to cover the bills and keep the peasantry in thrall to their lordships.” (Mail)