Rumour Mill: Stubbs blasts handball ref | John Collins eyes United job | Rodgers in line for new Celtic talks

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Alan Stubbs blasts penalty snub; John Collins and Csaba Laszlo linked with Dundee United job and Brendan Rodgers to hold new talks with Celtic despite Moyes rumours

Stubbs demands handball explanation

HIBS head coach Alan Stubbs has asked Alan Muir to explain himself after the referee chose not to award Hibs a clear-cut penalty against Falkirk.

TV footage clearly showed Bairns defender David McCracken handling the ball, with Muir seemingly having a clear view of the incident.

Stubbs said: “That was for us to go 3-1 up, I honestly think referees should be in this position to answer for it. I can’t answer for his decision.” (The Scotsman)

Collins eyes Tannadice post

The penalty incident, with Alan Muir (bottom right) seemingly with a clear view of the handball

The penalty incident, with Alan Muir (bottom right) seemingly with a clear view of the handball

OUTGOING Celtic assistant boss John Collins has thrown his hat into the ring for the Dundee United job.

Ex-Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo is also understood to be interested in the post, despite Ray McKinnon appearing a cert to succeed Mixu Paatelainen.

However, after two days of talks, United and McKinnon are yet to agree anything, with Collins and Laszlo making late bids for the position. (Daily Mail)

McCracken defends handball

FALKIRK defender David McCracken has admitted that he handled the ball in the box during the first leg of the Scottish Premiership play-off semi-final, but claimed it WASN’T intentional.

The veteran stopper said: “It was a handball but it wasn’t deliberate. The motion of my tackle brings my body shape around that way and my hand goes on the ball. It is a handball but I think the ref got it right.” (Daily Record)

Fans call for Muirhead red

FURIOUS Hibs fans have taken to social media demanding a retrospective red card for Falkirk defender Aaron Muirhead.

The Bairns defender, who was sent off the last time the two teams met at Easter Road, appeared to kick out at Liam Henderson in the aftermath of the incident.

Falkirk now face an anxious wait to see if the former Partick stopper will face action. (Various)

Rodgers talks continue with Moyes as favourite

BRENDAN Rodgers is set for further talks with Celtic, after a return to his former club Swansea was ruled out. It is understood that Rodgers is aware of Celtic’s interest, yet harbours reservations about the standard of Scottish football as well as potential budget limits.

And while David Moyes has been tipped to succeed Ronny Deila, some bookies yesterday suspended betting on Roy Keane landing the top job. (Various)

Manchester United coach bottled by West Ham fans

MANCHESTER United’s team coach was attacked by West Ham fans last night prior to the final game at the Boleyn Ground, delaying kick off by around 30 minutes.

Cans of beer were thrown at the bus as it arrived at Upton Park for the final match at the stadium before West Ham move to the Olympic stadium.

West Ham won the match 3-2. (Various)

Warburton relishing Spurs test

MARK Warburton believes his Rangers side will get the perfect preparation for the Scottish Cup final when they face Tottenham in London today.

They face Spurs in a closed-door friendly as they step up their plans for their Hampden date with Hibs on May 21.

Warburton said: “It’s always a stern challenge and it’s a magnificent training base – one of the very best in Europe, there’s no doubt about that.” (Various)

United face punishment over ineligible player

DUNDEE United could face a fine as well as a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player during last Friday’s 3-2 win at Inverness CT.

Ali Coote came on as a second half sub after having spent time on loan with League Two winners East Fife.

But Coote didn’t return to Tannadice until after the end of March, which should have ruled him out of taking part in any United games. (The Scotsman)

Griffiths will shorten summer for Scotland chance

LEIGH Griffiths has declared his willingness to cut short his summer break in a bid to stake his claim for a key role in Scotland’s 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Griffiths will make his 51st and final appearance of the season for the Scottish champions tonight when they face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

Griffiths is waiting to learn if he will be included in the Scotland squad for the high-profile challenge matches against Italy in Malta on 29 May and France in Metz on June 4. (The Scotsman)

Pars hopeful of hanging on to El Bakhtaoui

DUNFERMLINE are still hopeful of holding on to star striker Faissal El Bakhtaoui, despite reported interest from Motherwell.

The French-Moroccan star, who helped fire the Pars to the League One title, has also been linked with Hibs and Aberdeen in the past.

While Motherwell are planning to replace Scott McDonald if he leaves Fir Park, Pars chief Ross McArthur said: “We have made Faissal an offer and as far as we are concerned he is still looking at all his options and has not yet made a decision.” (Various)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• Dundee boss Paul Hartley has confirmed he has made decisions over three out-of-contract players, including Hibs and Celtic target Paul McGinn

• Aberdeen have unveiled their new kit for the 2016/17 season. Featuring white pinstripes and a white collar, it is reminiscent of their 1983 Gothenburg strip

• The Scottish League Cup will be sponsored by Betfred from next season after a bumper sponsorship deal was unveiled by the SPFL

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