Rumour Mill: Dembele out to haunt Rangers | Sutton slams Warburton | Souttar staying

Moussa Dembele scored the winner for Celtic against Rangers. Pic: John Devlin
Moussa Dembele scored the winner for Celtic against Rangers. Pic: John Devlin
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Celtic hero Moussa Dembele out to inflict more pain on Rangers, Chris Sutton mocks Mark Warburton’s gap ‘narrowing’ claims and Hearts aren’t planning on cashing in on John Souttar.

Dembele targets more goals against Rangers

Old Firm semi-final hero Moussa Dembele plans to score even more goals for Celtic against Rangers after his 88th-minute strike proved the difference at Hampden yesterday. The 20-year-old French striker pounced with just minutes remaining to score the winner in the Betfred Cup semi-final, adding to the hat-trick he scored against the Gers earlier in the season. Dembele said: “This is the beginning for me at Celtic. There is a lot more to come as I have only been here for three months. I train hard every day, I give my all on the pitch. In the big games you have to make sure you are ready. In the two games against them, that’s what I have done. Hopefully that can continue in the next games against Rangers.” (various)

Sutton slams Warburton’s claims

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has laughed off Rangers boss Mark Warburton’s claims that the gap is closing between the two Glasgow sides and that there wasn’t much of a gulf in yesterday’s match. Sutton said: “Yes the scoreline was closer [than the 5-1 meeting earlier in the season] but clearly they haven’t got close enough! The gulf is enormous! Let’s be absolutely honest – it was a total mismatch at Hampden. If that was a boxing match then Celtic would have won every round comfortably – in fact, the fight would have been stopped!” (Daily Record)

Celtic target spotted at Old Firm clash

Everton midfielder James McCarthy, who has been linked with a move to Celtic in the January transfer window, was spotted at Parkhead during yesterday’s Old Firm match posing for pictures with supporters. (various)

Bidding war expected for McCarthy

However, Celtic may face stiff competition for Irish midfielder McCarthy, who has fallen out of favour at Goodison Park. A host of clubs are said to be monitoring his situation, including Premiership sides Spurs, Stoke, Crystal Palace, Sunderland, West Brom and Middlesbrough and Championship leaders Newcastle. (Daily Star)

Aberdeen ask for 50/50 ticket split

Aberdeen have asked the SPFL for an even split of tickets for next month’s Betfred Cup final with Celtic. The Dons – who are still fuming over the decision to play Saturday’s semi-final at Hampden at 12.15pm – play one of the Old Firm clubs in a final for the first time since taking on both Celtic and Rangers in the League Cup and Scottish Cup respectively in 2000. Back then, a ticket row ensued before the clash with Gers at Hampden when the Ibrox side were given 7000 more briefs and then Aberdeen chief executive Gordon Bennett launched a complaint to the SFA. It was argued the split handed the Ibrox club an unfair advantage for a game they went on to win 4-0 and the Dons are desperate to avoid their fans being outnumbered again. (Daily Record)

Hearts won’t cash in on defender

Jambos boss Robbie Neilson insists the club won’t entertain any offers for in-form defender John Souttar in the January transfer window. Souttar is attracting interest from clubs south of the border, but Neilson said: “We’ve certainly not got any plans to cash in on John. He’s one of our key players. He’s been great this season but he knows himself he’s got a few years left here before he’s ready to make a move.” (Edinburgh Evening News

McGregor: Win will kick-start Hibs’ season

Hibs defender Darren McGregor reckons Hibs’ 3-1 victory over Dunfermline will reignite their season. He said: “I think to come back from one down and score three shows the character which, hopefully, will kick-start our season. We weren’t happy with the first quarter, we started really well but hit a sticky patch. However, if that’s our bad patch for the season we’ll take it and move on. We have massive potential in the squad, players on the bench who could play for any other team in this league. We know we have the strength in depth, we’ll keep working and keep confidence high.” (Edinburgh Evening News)

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