Rumour Mill: Barton set for crunch Ibrox talks | Villa want Souttar | Rangers ‘can win title’

Joey Barton has been absent from the Rangers squad for six weeks. Picture: John Devlin

Joey Barton has been absent from the Rangers squad for six weeks. Picture: John Devlin

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Joey Barton will return to Ibrox for disciplinary talks, Aston Villa are chasing Hearts defender John Souttar, and Josh Windass insists Rangers can still win the title.

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Barton for crunch talks

Joey Barton’s future at Rangers will be decided one way or another by the end of this week as the midfielder is set to take part in an Ibrox disciplinary hearing.

Barton has been missing from the first-team squad for almost six weeks following a training ground row with boss Mark Warburton.

It opens up the door for Barton making a surprising return to the Rangers squad. Only last week Barton removed all mention of Rangers from his Twitter account. (Daily Record)

Villa want Souttar

Robbie Neilson has advised John Souttar to continue his development at Hearts after English Championship side Aston Villa emerged as the latest club linked with the talented centre-back.

The 20-year-old is contracted at Tynecastle until the summer of 2019, so Hearts are in no rush to cash in on their asset. (Daily Record)

Rangers ‘can win title’

Rangers midfielder Josh Windass insists the Ibrox club can still challenge rivals Celtic for the Ladbrokes Premiership crown.

Rangers currently sit fifth in the table, seven points behind Celtic, having played a game less. They’ve also lost twice to Celtic in two Old Firm derbies so far this season.

Despite this, Windass is still confident Rangers can go on a run and put pressure on the league leaders. (The Herald)

Scotland to battle for Dembele

Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan has promised to utilise every possible resource in a bid to prevent Celtic prodigy Karamoko Dembele from pledging his international allegiance to England.

The 13-year-old attacking midfielder, who sprang to prominence earlier this month when he made his debut for the Scottish champions’ under-20 side, is currently taking part in a training camp with the England under-15 squad at the English FA’s national football centre at St George’s Park. (The Scotsman)

Simunovic ‘may court £100k a week’

Brendan Rodgers believes Jozo Simunovic could one day court a bumper pay offer from an English Premier League side.

The Croatian defender almost left Celtic Park without playing a minute’s football under Brendan Rodgers as a transfer to Torino fell apart at the final hour.

Rodgers envisions other clubs coming in for the centre-back, but insists his immediate future belongs at Parkhead. (Daily Mail)

McInnes blasts Collum

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes claimed his side were hard done by with referee Willie Collum’s penalty award which resulted in the 1-0 Ladbrokes Premiership defeat at Hamilton.

The Dons were aiming for a seventh straight win after booking a Betfred Cup final place against Celtic with a 2-0 win over Championship side Morton at Hampden Park on Saturday.

However, Alex D’Acol derailed the Pittodrie bandwagon when he scored from the spot in the sixth minute after Collum adjudged him to have been manhandled by Anthony O’Connor. (The Scotsman)

Dempster ‘gutted’ for Stubbs

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster has admitted to being “really gutted” to hear of former Easter Road boss Alan Stubbs being sacked by Rotherham United.

And although insisting she couldn’t speak for the club rooted to the foot of the English Championship, Dempster revealed she believes football club managers need time to make an impact.

Stubbs was axed by the South Yorkshire outfit barely five months after quitting Edinburgh only days after guiding Hibs to their first Scottish Cup triumph in 114 years. (Evening News)

McHugh to miss rest of the year

Motherwell boss Mark McGhee doesn’t expect to see summer signing Carl McHugh until after the New Year as the midfielder recovers from a horrific head knock.

The Irishman was left with a gaping wound in his head after a clash in his league debut at Kilmarnock.

Though expected to soon return to the line-up, McHugh began suffering from delayed concussion and is still experiencing symptoms almost three months later. (Evening Times)

Law slams Ibrox crowd

Former midfielder Nicky Law insists the Ibrox atmosphere is overrated and the expectations of Rangers fans remain too high.

Law left Glasgow this past summer after three years in the Rangers first-team. He’s since rejoined former club Bradford City in the English Championship.

Speaking after Bradford’s third game without a win, Law says the current pressure on the players is nothing compared to what he experienced during his time in Glasgow. (The Herald)

Marcus Haber to make Dundee debut

New signing Marcus Haber is set to make his Dundee debut against Partick Thistle at Dens Park tonight.

The striker is Paul Hartley’s 43rd signing as Dundee boss. Hartley is desperately looking for firepower to add to his squad following a poor start to the campaign.

The 27-year-old signed on until the end of the season. The Canadian international once spent a season on loan at St Johnstone. (The Herald)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• Motherwell full-back Richard Tait says he gave up playing rugby to follow his dream of becoming a footballer. (The Herald)

• Sir Alex Ferguson is hopeful Scotland can upset England at Wembley next month. (Various)

• Fraser Aird will return to Rangers after a “frustrating” loan spell at Vancouver Whitecaps. (Goal.com)

• Inverness CT postpone contract talks with centre-back Josh Meekings until after the New Year. (The Sun)

Hibs striker James Keatings was today ruled out of action for six weeks due to a knee injury. (The Scotsman)

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