Rumour Mill: Celtic face McCarthy fight | Rangers slam ‘vile’ bus vandals | Souness urges Ibrox board to invest

James McCarthy is wanted by Celtic and Newcastle. Picture: Getty Images

James McCarthy is wanted by Celtic and Newcastle. Picture: Getty Images

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Celtic could face competition from Newcastle for James McCarthy; Rangers slam ‘vile’ bus vandalism and Graeme Souness calls on Ibrox board to invest

Newcastle set to battle Hoops for McCarthy

Celtic could have a fight on their hands to land Everton midfielder James McCarthy.

The Magpies and the Hoops are joint favourites to land the former Hamilton Accies ace in January, who has been kept out of the Toffees starting XI due to injury and the performances of Gareth Barry and Idrissa Gueye.

And while Celtic were linked with the Irish international during the summer, Newcastle could look to hijack the deal come January. (Various)

Rangers ‘disgusted’ by damaged team bus

Rangers issued a statement yesterday after their bus was vandalised ahead of the match against Aberdeen. The words “Ibrox 71” – in reference to the Ibrox disaster – and “Durrant dived” were etched on to the side of the vehicle. In a statement, Rangers said: “We are disgusted and disappointed with this act of vandalism. In particular, the reference to the Ibrox disaster in which 66 people lost their lives was particularly vile.” Aberdeen also condemned the vandalism of the bus. (Daily Mail)

Guardiola fires warning to Celtic

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned Celtic ahead of their clash with the English champions on Wednesday that City have yet to hit top gear. “We are still far away from where we want to be,” said Guardiola. “We are here to get better. You always have to keep going. It never ends in football.” (various)

Souness: Rangers need to splash cash

Former Rangers boss Graeme Souness has warned the Ibrox club they must spend more money if they are to compete with Celtic. Souness said: “I would like to have seen, like all Rangers supporters, the owner spend some money and give the manager a real chance. I am a supporter and like every supporter I am not interested in the bottom line, as long as we stay solvent. Find the money from somewhere and give the manager a chance.” (The Herald)

McCann backs Barton

Former Rangers winger Neil McCann has backed suspended midfielder Joey Barton, saying that it’s down to the manager to handle the situation better. What I’ve heard is he’s not a bad professional, he’s not been a bad influence,” said McCann. “Yes, he’s a bit mouthy, but we all know Joey is like that anyway. So deal with it – and that leads me to Mark Warburton. If you’re signing Joey Barton, you know what he’s coming with. He’s opinionated, he’s strongly opinionated.” (Inside Football)

Warburton slams ref after Aberdeen defeat

Rangers boss Mark Warburton blamed referee John Beaton for the Gers’ 2-1 defeat by Aberdeen. The Dons won the match after James Maddison netted a last-minute free-kick, although Warburton was incensed that the set-piece was awarded after James Tavernier’s challenge on Jonny Hayes. ““I will be careful what I say about the free-kick,” said Warburton. “But everyone saw the ball move. The fourth official on the sidelines saw the ball move and made a comment. He didn’t think it was a free-kick.” (The Scotsman)

McInnes says Tavernier only has himself to blame

In stark contrast to Warburton, Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes believes Tavernier only has himself to blame for the award of that free-kick. “I think Tavernier gets himself into a bad position,” said McInnes. “He then has to tackle and it’s a wee bit desperate from behind. My first thought was that it’s a free-kick. (The Herald)

Maddison: We’re not here to plod along

Dons match-winner James Maddison says Aberdeen sent out a message to the rest of the league with their 2-1 win over Rangers. “I think we sent out a message to the rest of Scottish football today that we’re not just here to plod along,” he said. “We’re here to challenge.” (various)

Burke scores in first RB Leipzig start

Scotland international Oliver Burke scored just four minutes into his first RB Leipzig start as they drew 1-1 with FC Koln in the German Bundesliga yesterday. (various)

Neilson: We must get used to teams playing for draws

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has told his players they must get used to teams coming to Tynecastle and playing for a point after the 0-0 stalemate with Ross County. “Teams that are steady and looking at the top six will come to Tynecastle and try to get a draw. It’s up to us to try and win these games,” said Neilson. (Edinburgh Evening News)

Canning wants Accies to be ruthless

Hamilton boss Martin Canning says his team needs to take their chances if they are to turn draws into wins. “I’ve been saying for the last few weeks that we have to be more ruthless in front of goal. It’s another one that’s got away,” said the Accies boss in the wake of yesterday’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone. (The Sun)

In brief

• Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano hopes his fourth clean sheet in five games will earn him a call-up to the Israel international squad. (Various)

• Partick midfielder Adam Barton says the Firhill dressing-room has full faith in Ade Azeez despite the ex-Wimbledon striker missing a hatful of chances in the 1-1 draw with Motherwell. (Various)

• Dundee keeper Scott Bain reckons the Dens Park outfit “only need a little spark” as their Highland hoodoo and poor run of form continued with a 3-1 defeat by Inverness. (Various)

• Blair Spittal says Dundee United’s confidence has been buoyed ahead of Sunday’s Championship showdown with Hibs after beating Morton 2-1. (The Sun)

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