Rumour Mill: Decoy in mask helps Neilson escape media | Hibs eye Swanson | Derby want Hearts quartet

A Robbie Neilson lookalike leaves Hearts' training complex earlier today. Pic: SNS

A Robbie Neilson lookalike leaves Hearts' training complex earlier today. Pic: SNS

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Hibs keen on Danny Swanson and ex-Juventus midfielder Fausto Rossi; Derby boss Steve McClaren makes spying trip to Tynecastle

Decoy helps Neilson flea

A cleverly placed decoy in a Robbie Neilson mask helped the outgoing Hearts manager avoid the media at Riccarton this afternoon.

The waiting broadcasters were hoping to catch the 36-year-old ahead of his impending move to MK Dons before he gave them the slip.

BBC’s Chris McLaughlin tweeted: “Robbie Neilson escapes the waiting media at Hearts training ground by using a decoy with a Robbie Neilson mask. I’m not kidding.” (Various)

Lennon weighs up Swanson move

Hibs boss Neil Lennon is considering a move for St Johnstone midfielder Danny Swanson who is out of contract at the end of the season and free to talks to clubs from next month. The lifelong Hibs fan has been in fine form this season, scoring 11 goals. Lennon would like to sign the player in January but may have to wait unitl the end of the season. (The Sun)

Hibs looking at Italy U21 cap

Hibs are also weighing up a move for former Juventus midfielder Fausto Rossi - who once netted the winner against Barcelona. Rossi, 25, is a free agent and a former Italy U21 international. He failed to make an appearance in four years with the Turin club but was loaned out to various teams, including Spanish side Real Valladolid for whom he scored the winner against Barcelona. (Daily Record)

Derby run rule over Hearts four

Derby manager Steve McClaren was an interested spectator at Tynecastle last night as he ran the rule over Callum Paterson, John Souttar, Bjorn Johnsen and Jamie Walker. Paterson is out of contract in the summer and is keen to move to England. It would take a sizeable bid to persuade Hearts to part with the Scotland international or any of the other three in January. (Derby Telegraph)

Neilson to say his farewells

Robbie Neilson will return to Riccarton to today to say his goodbyes to the Hearts players and staff before heading south to join MK Dons. The Tynecastle head coach leaves the club in second place in the Premiership following last night’s thrilling 2-0 win over Rangers in Gorgie. (Various)

Rangers perforance was ‘unacceptable’

Mark Warburton has branded Rangers’ performance in their 2-0 defeat by Hearts as “unacceptable”. The Ibrox manager said his side simply “weren’t good enough” and that “to concede two tap-ins at the far post is unacceptable”. (Various)

Van Dijk windfall for Celtic?

Celtic could be set for a multi-million pound windfall, according to Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier. Le Tissier has been hugely impressed by St Mary’s defender Virgil van Dijk and reckons the ex-Celt is now worth between £40 to £50 million. The Parkhead side could be in line for a slice of the money if they have a sell-on clause (Daily Record)

Northern Ireland coach in running for SFA job

Northern Ireland coach Austin MacPhee is the surprise front runner for the SFA’s performance director post. MacPhee, 37, is the preferred candidate following a series of interviews. Others in for the job include Malky Mackay and John Collins. (The Sun)

Hearts fans have huge role

Robbie Neilson says Hearts fans have a huge role to play in the future of the club. Neilson, who is expected to announce his departure today, has urged the supporters to keep backing the side. (Various)

Cup minnows in talks over Celtic venue

Albion Rovers will meet with the SFA today to thrash out a venue for their Scottish Cup tie with Celtic. Fir Park and New Douglas Park are contenders to host the fourth round clash in January. (Daily Record)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• Hamilton’s Ali Crawford deserves a place in the Scotland squad, according to team-mate Michael Devlin. (STV)

• Ex-Celtic and Hibs boss Tony Mowbray is the frontrunner to become Rotherham’s new manager. (Various)

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