Rumour Mill: Cardiff eye Paterson | Dembele was France-bound | Brum want Gers scout

Callum Paterson shakes the hand of head coach Ian Cathro after Hearts' 1-1 draw with Partick. Pic: SNS
Callum Paterson shakes the hand of head coach Ian Cathro after Hearts' 1-1 draw with Partick. Pic: SNS
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Cardiff City are the latest club to be credited with an interest for Hearts and Scotland defender Callum Paterson, while Rangers could lose their head of recruitment to Birmingham City.

Cardiff plan Paterson raid

Hearts and Scotland international right-back Callum Paterson has emerged as a January transfer target for struggling Skybet Championship side Cardiff. The 22-year-old defender is also being monitored by Derby as he enters the final six months of his contract, but with the Bluebirds struggling at the wrong end of England’s second tier, Neil Warnock is keen to reinforce his defence as he plots a survival bid. A fee of around £500,000 is expected to be enough to prise Paterson away from Tynecastle. (Daily Express)

Celtic took Dembele from under Marseille’s noses

Former Marseille Franck Passi has revealed that the French giants were on the brink of signing Moussa Dembele from Fulham until Celtic pinched in and took him. The striker has been a sensation at Celtic Park, scoring 17 goals, and he was awarded the Trophee de L’Espoir Francais over the weekend, an award handed out to the most promising player in French football. Passi said: “I wanted Dembele to come to Marseille. We were looking for a replacement for Michy Batshuayi, and among all the players we had mentioned there was Moussa. I contacted his agent and he was very close to coming to Marseille. Then, finally, it did not happen . . . sometimes during transfers, things do not happen.” (The Sun)

Rodgers won’t stand in Commons’ way

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says he won’t stand in Kris Commons’ way should he wish to make his emergency loan move to Hibs a more permanent arrangement. The 33-year-old attacker has not played at all for Celtic under the Northern Irishman and got his first 90 minutes for months last weekend as Hibs drew 1-1 with Morton. Rodgers said: “Kris will be in good condition. He has worked very hard in training. He has always understood the position here, but he has never been a minute’s problem. He has shown a great attitude. It’s difficult for him to play when I have Scott Sinclair, Patrick Roberts and James Forrest — these guys have been outstanding. He’s a player at the latter part of his career, the important thing now is playing.” (various)

Birmingham eye Rangers scout

New Birmingham City manager Gianfranco Zola wants Rangers’ head scout Frank McParland to join him at St Andrews. The Italian joined the Midlands club last week after the surprise departure of Gary Rowett and Zola is eyeing up the Ibrox club’s head of recruitment as his director of football (Daily Mail)

Old Firm target offered new deal

Barnsley have offered a new contract to Irish midfielder Conor Hourihane in a bid to stave off interest from Celtic and Rangers. The 25-year-old is on the radar of both Old Firm sides and Aston Villa and Tykes manager Paul Heckingbotham said: “We’ve spoken to him about a new contract and it’s a case of sooner the better for me.” (various)

Warburton: Don’t make Colts start in Lowland League

Rangers manager Mark Warburton says any moves to bring Colt teams into the Scottish league system should avoid putting those teams into the Lowland League. The Gers boss believes those teams should be parachuted higher up the pyramid system to enhance their development further. “If they are saying, go and play in the Lowland League first, then in one fell swoop that argument has gone.” (Daily Record)

Fletcher set to earn new WBA deal

Scotland captain Darren Fletcher is to be offered a new contract by West Brom. Baggies manager Tony Pulis said of the 32-year-old midfielder: “He is a fantastic lad – on and off the pitch. We are trying to put something together that is not just about the first team. Darren has been fantastic with the young players as well.” (The Sun)

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