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Rumour Mill: Terry Butcher | Celtic | Rangers

Terry Butcher is expected to swap the Highlands for the capital on Monday. Picture: SNS

Terry Butcher is expected to swap the Highlands for the capital on Monday. Picture: SNS

Terry Butcher set to complete move to Hibs on Monday, Neil Lennon eyes reinforcements up front and Ally McCoist to discuss Rangers’ future with David Somers.

Butcher ‘will be Hibs boss by Monday’

Hibernian are expected to unveil Inverness CT boss Terry Butcher as their new manager on Monday, both clubs have suggested.

The timing of Butcher’s potential switch was made all the more awkward with the two teams set to face each other at Easter Road today. Butcher’s assistant Maurice Malpas is expected to take the Inverness team while Jimmy Nicholl will continue his stint as caretaker boss of Hibs, having been assisted by player-coach Alan Maybury this week.

The Daily Record are reporting that Jimmy Nicholl and chief scout Dave Henderson are expected to depart Easter Road as soon as this evening, but goalkeeping coach Scott Thomson is set to continue in his role.

Malpas is likely to join up with the former Motherwell and Partick Thistle boss at East Mains on Monday, while the future of Inverness head scout Steve Marsella is unclear. (The Scotsman)

Levein tops list to replace Butcher

Meanwhile, Craig Levein has emerged as a contender to succeed Butcher in the Caley Jags hotseat. The former Scotland boss, who has plenty of experience in club management with Leicester, Hearts and Dundee United, could be keen on a return to management following his time as Scotland boss. Former Hearts gaffer Csaba Laszlo has also indicated interest in the role, while ex-Kilmarnock managers Kenny Shiels and Jimmy Calderwood have also been mentioned in connection with the post, with some tipping former boss John Robertson to return with Barry Wilson - who made 253 appearances for the Highland club over two separate spells, scoring 60 goals - as his assistant. (Daily Record)

Lennon may look at bolstering strikeforce

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has hinted that he may raid the transfer market for another striker in January, but insisted: “I have players here that have the potential to improve and score at [Champions League] level.”

Lennon is still mulling over the 1-0 defeat to Ajax earlier this week, in a display many critics called Celtic’s worst in Europe this season, but has backed Teemu Pukki to come good after he has settled in.

The Celtic boss has hinted that both Pukki and Amido Balde - who he signed for a combined £4.7 million - will take time to adapt to the Scottish game but he is confident they will produce the goods in time.

He told reporters yesterday: “In Teemu Pukki we have a player who will score. He needs a bit of time to settle to the game. But he has shown more indication now that he is getting used to playing the style of football here. I think he will be okay.”

Lennon has struggled to find someone to directly replace Gary Hooper, but is working with his four strikers in a bid to engineer goals from them. (The Scotsman/Daily Record)

Celtic boss bemoans ‘unfair’ Dingwall trip

Lennon has also hit out at TV companies for ‘diminishing the standard of football on view’ by asking Celtic to play at 12.45pm on a Saturday immediately after a Wednesday night European clash. The Celtic boss called the decision ‘ridiculous’, adding: “I’m really angry about it. I just don’t think it’s fair. We have had a really tough game on Wednesday night and I’ve got no time to work with the players before we go up to Dingwall.

“There is no reason why it couldn’t be a 3pm kick-off or even a Sunday game.

“I think it’s a big ask – and a big ask for supporters as well.”

Lennon also pointed out that English Premier League teams involved in Europe on Wednesdays are not expected to return to domestic duty until 3pm on the Saturday at the earliest.

“It would be nice if managers were involved in these decisions,” he added. “I don’t think an extra day to the Sunday is an awful lot to ask for.

“But we are the early kick-off this Saturday at the furthest geographical point in the league away from us. I think it’s harsh.” (The Scotsman)

McCoist to meet Somers to discuss Rangers future

Ally McCoist is due to meet with new Ibrox chairman David Somers before today’s Scottish League 1 match with Airdrie to discuss the club’s future.

The 65-year-old accountant was appointed acting chairman during the week, with Rangers setting December 19th as the date for their delayed AGM.

McCoist said yesterday: “I haven’t spoken to [David] yet, we have missed each other. I’ve left a message on his phone and I know he’s tried to contact me. We’ve got a meeting arranged for late morning before the game at Ibrox.”

Rangers have been without a chairman since the departure of Walter Smith three months ago, while chief executive Craig Mather resigned in October. Somers is believed to have started interviewing potential replacements for Mather, eevn with the possibility of further change to the board at the AGM.

McCoist revealed he would be ‘surprised’ if Somers thought he wasn’t going to be in post for the long-term, adding: “I think it’s very important that we do get a chief executive [as well as a chairman].

“I’ve said all along that the relationship between a chief executive and a manager – and, indeed, the chairman – at any football club is of paramount importance. I’m just looking forward to working with the new chairman and, hopefully, a new chief executive in the future.” (The Scotsman)

Football news in brief

Rangers utility man Andy Little faces the possibility of getting metal plates inserted in his face after breaking his jaw and cheekbone during Rangers’ midweek win against Dunfermline. Little faces being sidelined until 2014.

• Former Hearts defender Ryan McGowan has applauded the Tynecastle squad and its supporters for ‘digging deep’ during the ongoing financial predicament

• Hibs utility man Lewis Stevenson has insisted that everything is in place at the club, and hopes the Easter Road side can kick on under their new manager - whoever that may be.

 

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