In today’s Rumour Mill: Hearts players face the axe; Kevin Kyle confident fans will save Hearts; Virgil van Dijk Celtic move almost signed; Vinne Jones on an Old Firm breakaway league; plus the rest of the Scottish football news and gossip.
Hearts players face the axe
The jobs of four unnamed Hearts players – two seniors and two from the youth team – are “likely” to go, according to administrators BDO.
The Daily Record says that John Sutton, Jamie McDonald, Ryan Stevenson and Jamie Hamill are thought to be the four players most at risk of getting axed. (Various)
Kyle confident Hearts fans will rally
Kevin Kyle reckons Hearts can follow Rangers on the road back to safety. Hearts are aiming to sell 3,000 season tickets over the next two weeks which will raise £800,000 – comfortably more than the sum required to keep the club going into the autumn.
The former Hearts man was at Ibrox for their ‘rebirth’ in Division Three, and Kyle has no doubts the Tynecastle fans will stick by their club in the same way Rangers fans did.
He said: “I think the Hearts fans will rally round.
“You expected it to happen with Rangers. They have 50,000 at most home games.
“I’d like to think Hearts fans will get behind them, if they do end up going down the Rangers route and have new owners in, like Rangers had with Charles Green who promised to get them back.
“Green made sure the fans got behind them.” (The Sun)
Van Dijk nearly one of the Bhoys
Virgil van Dijk is on the brink of sealing his move from Dutch Eredivisie side Groningen, Celtic. He was in Glasgow yesterday finalising the deal.
The Dutch under-21 starlet was hooked on the Bhoys after watching their heroics in last season’s Champions League game against Barcelona. He said: “The game against Barcelona was a big game and I watched it at home,” he told reporters. “The atmosphere was great and it was a very good match. I’, now look forward to playing in the Champions League.”
Groningen are set to receive £2.5 million for the player, and insisted on a sell-on clause during negotiations that will see them net more should Celtic sell on the defender. (Various)
Premier League clubs battle for Wanyama
Celtic star Victor Wanyama could be at the centre of a Premier League bidding war with Southampton and Cardiff City readying bids.
The Daily Express reports Celtic are ready to cash in but they want in excess of £10 million.
Stoke, Newcastle, Liverpool and Galatasaray are also reported to be monitoring the situation.
Vinnie Jones proposes Old Firm breakaway
Hollywood actor and former Wales international Vinnie Jones wants the English Premier League’s top six sides to join with Celtic and Rangers in a breakaway European Super League.
Former Celebrity Big Brother contender, Jones, said: “For the life of me I don’t know why they don’t just do a European League.
“If you think about it now, if a London team is playing a Manchester team or a Liverpool team, they fly up there anyway.
“There’s no nine-hour coach drives on a Friday night like we used to do.
“By the time they get to Heathrow, or wherever they are going from, and they fly up to Manchester and then they get a coach to the hotel, surely they could go to Spain and play Barcelona on a Sunday.
“I was looking at the train fares the other day. To Manchester from Kings Cross is something like three or four hundred quid return.
“Surely it’s cheaper to fly? So the fans wouldn’t mind it.”
Jones added: “The top six is the best in the world, maybe, but until you start putting in the likes of Celtic, Rangers, Barcelona, Borussia Moenchengladback, Real Madrid and Inter Milan, it’s not going to be the best league in the world.”
Tommy Wright focused on Saints
New St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has quit his post on the Northern Ireland coaching staff so he can concentrate full time on the Perth club.
Wright who took over from countryman Steve Lomas this week, said: “Following some discussion with my chairman, Michael and my family, I’ve decided to step down from my position of Northern Ireland goalkeeping coach.
“I feel that the demands of being St Johnstone manager require me to be totally committed to that one position.” (Various)