Mark Warburton concedes Rangers could sell key players in January; SFA to defend Dave King ‘fit and proper’ approval in wake of Mike Ashley challenge and Hibs set for boost as duo near return
Rangers ‘could sell key players’ admits Warburton
MARK Warburton has admitted that Rangers could allow key players to leave in January - if the price is right.
The Ibrox boss told the Evening Times that Rangers could be forced to sell players if the ‘right fee’ is offered, saying: “I don’t want anyone to leave the football club.
“If they leave for a sum that offers value, it means the recruitment has been right because they’ve produced a level of performance which has attracted a bigger club that can afford to pay us a fee above and beyond what we’d want to get for a player.
“If a player comes in and gets offered quadruple his wages to play down south, we aren’t going to stand in his way as long as we get the right fee.” (Read more at the Evening Times: Mark Warburton: Rangers have to plot their transfer moves wisely to add quality at the right price)
SFA defend Dave King ruling
THE SFA will defend its approval of Dave King as “fit and proper” to become a director and chairman of Rangers when the decision is put to a judicial review by Mike Ashley next year.
The case petitioned by the Newcastle United owner, who holds a nine per cent stake in Rangers through his MASH Holdings company, will be heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in February.
The question over King’s eligibility as a company director in Scotland arose from his conviction in August 2013 for 41 counts of breaching tax regulations in South Africa and Sports Direct owner Ashley is now challenging the SFA’s backing for King, reasoning that he should have fallen foul of the governing body’s criteria on those counts. (Read more at The Scotsman: SFA to defend Mike Ashley challenge over Dave King)
Warburton hails McParland’s skills
MARK Warburton has also paid tribute to new head of recruitment Frank McParland, as he warned that Rangers were unable to sign ‘perfect’ players.
Warburton said at a press conference to unveil McParland: “You are never going to get the perfect player; if they’re perfect then they will be playing in the Premier League and on £100,000 a week.
“If you can recognise their weaknesses and see if you can improve them then that is equally as important – I have no doubt in Frank’s ability to do that and trust his judgement absolutely.”
Warburton hinted that any new Rangers signings would be players who would be developed into better performers under the Gers coaching staff. (Read more at Inside Futbol: ’Perfect’ players out of reach for Rangers concedes Mark Warburton)
Ryan Christie to return to Celtic for treatment on knee injury
RYAN Christie is to return to parent club Celtic for treatment after sustaining a knee injury during Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s match with Motherwell at the weekend.
Christie, who joined Celtic in September, was loaned back to the Highlanders for the rest of the season, with the Hoops inserting an option to recall him in January - but Christie will head to Lennoxtown next week to begin rehabilitation.
The 20-year-old won’t need surgery but does face up to four weeks on the sidelines - and will meet up with his new team-mates earlier than planned. (Read more at the Daily Express: Ryan Christie to return to Celtic erarly after knee injury at Inverness)
Hibs set for boost as duo return from layoffs
HIBERNIAN are in line for a boost with attacking duo Henri Anier and Farid El Alagui close to first-team action, according to Alan Stubbs.
Anier played an hour for the under-20s earlier this week as he returns from a thigh injury.
“I’ve still got high hopes for Henri,” said Stubbs. “Like the rest of them, he’ll be competing for a place in the team. He’s another body who will give us more competition, which is healthy.”
And El Alagui believes he can still prove his worth to Hibs, adding: “I feel good and I’m still confident that I can produce my best form at Hibs. I would not say I’m 100 per cent properly fit because I need more games under my belt for that but I am ready to come on and be involved whenever the manager needs me. “Overall, I’m happy with where I am.” (Read more at the Evening News: Farid El Alagui: I can still prove worth to Hibs and Stubbs has high hope for Henri Anier at Hibs)
Hearts look to extend Pallardo deal
HEARTS are planning to offer midfielder Miguel Pallardo an extended contract before the end of the year.
The Tynecastle club want to secure the 29-year-old’s long-term future before his existing deal expires at the end of the season.
He would be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club come January but Hearts intend to make their move before then. Pallardo has moved his wife and family to Scotland from Spain and is now settled in Edinburgh, with Hearts keen to keep him following a series of influential displays since he signed in September 2014. (Read more at the Evening News: Hearts keen to tie up Miguel Pallardo on new deal)
Tynecastle could host Hibs-St Johnstone semi
HIBERNIAN’s League Cup semi-final against St Johnstone could be played at Tynecastle - in a repeat of the CIS Cup clash between the two sides in 2007.
The Edinburgh stadium, home of Hibs’ rivals Hearts, is under consideration as the venue for last-four tie to be played on the weekend of January 30/31 next year.
Tynecastle currently holds 17,529. If selected, it is expected Hibs fans would be housed in three of the four stands – the Main Stand, the Gorgie Road Stand and the Wheatfield Stand – while St Johnstone supporters would be accommodated in the Roseburn Stand in a similar arrangement to the match back in 2007. (Read more at the Evening News: Tynecastle in running for Hibs v St Johnstone semi)
Hibs ‘better than Bayern Munich and Arsenal’
OR so the European form guide suggests.
The Easter Road side are currently fifth in the table, which ranks sides based on their previous six matches. Hibs have won their previous six matches, scoring 17 goals and conceding five in the process.
Shakhtar Donetsk top the table having scored 20 goals and conceded five in their six wins, while Greek side Olympiakos, Paris Saint Germain and Red Star Belgrade are in second, third and fourth.
Celtic lie in 10th in the table, while Hibs are ahead of the likes of Bayern Munich, Arsena, Napoli and PSV Eindhoven.
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Manchester United have been linked with a shock move for Bournemouth’s Scotland international winger Matt Ritchie, with Louis van Gaal instructing his scouts to keep a close eye on the 26-year-old
• SFA chiefs fear the battle with Mike Ashley could end up costing Scottish football a fortune, with a six-figure legal bill expected
• QPR are to battle Blackburn Rovers for former Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert, as the ex-Scotland international looks set for a return to management
• The world’s ‘oldest footballer’, Kazuyoshi Miura has signed a new one-year deal with Yokohama FC - that will see him still playing at the age of 49. The Japanese striker has played for over 30 years and scored 55 goals in 89 international appearances