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The Rumour Mill: Friday’s Scottish football news and gossip

Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama (centre) is reportedly a target for Manchester United. Picture: SNS

Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama (centre) is reportedly a target for Manchester United. Picture: SNS

In today’s Rumour Mill: Man Utd linked with Celtic star; Walter Smith mulls over Rangers return; no decision for Craig Levein; plus the rest of the day’s football news and gossip.

Sir Alex linked with swoop for Wanyama

Manchester United are reportedly interested in a January move for Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama. Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson is understood to have sent his brother Martin to scout the Kenyan player since the start of the season and has received glowing reviews. Neil Lennon placed a £25m price tag on Wanyama after the midfielder rejected an improved contract offer last week, but United believe they can land him for less than half that amount, and will watch him in action again against Barcelona on Wednesday night. (Sun)

• Barcelona defender Gerard Pique looks set to miss Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Celtic after his foot injury failed to heal. (Express)

• Former Celtic first-team coach Alan Thompson is one of the favourites for the vacant Hartlepool United job after Neale Cooper resigned last week. (Mail)

Smith considers Ibrox return

Walter Smith is weighing up a surprise return to Ibrox after being offered a seat on the Rangers board by chief executive Charles Green. It is understood that Green has now stepped up talks with the former manager to entice him back as a non-executive director and hopes to make an announcement in the coming days. He has also held discussions with one-time Blue Knight Ian Harte and Edinburgh-based hedge fund expert Stephen Adams. (Record)

• The SFA have decided to dock £31,000 from Rangers’ Scottish Cup income this season to pay off their debt to Dundee United. (Sun)

Levein’s future still in doubt

Talks over Craig Levein’s future as Scotland manager continued last night as the SFA’s main board conducted a review into the poor start to the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign. The meeting to determine whether Levein is retained was held at an unspecified location, away from the Hampden boardroom, as the SFA sought to avoid a media presence. (Scotsman)

• Scotland legend Joe Jordan has revealed he would welcome a return to frontline management and will not rule out the possibility of taking charge of the national side at some point. (Scotsman)

• Former Scotland international Murdo McLeod believes Levein should go, insisting “it’s time for change”. (Express)

Romanov claims refs favour Old Firm

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov last night launched yet another withering attack on Scottish referees, accusing them of benefitting financially from the Old Firm. In an interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia, the controversial Baltic businessman also claimed again that he almost bought Liverpool last year for £200m. (Scotsman)

Hibs boss aims to keep trio

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon will not turn down any funds he is offered to make moves into the transfer market, but his priority in the New Year will be to hold on to three players who are currently in his squad. Leigh Griffiths, Jorge Claros and Ryan McGivern are all at Easter Road on loan until January, and Fenlon believes that, at this stage of the squad’s development, consolidation not further recruitment will be the key to continued progress. (Scotsman)

Only Celtic semi-final sure to be at Hampden

The Scottish Football League has insisted that there is no guarantee that both Scottish Communities League Cup semi-finals will be played at Hampden. Celtic, Hearts, St Mirren and Inverness all go into next Thursday’s draw, but the SFL have admitted that only the tie involving the Parkhead side is certain to be staged at the national stadium at this stage. (Scotsman)

Caley seek bar rule change

Inverness Caledonian Thistle is seeking the go-ahead to open its stadium’s bar to rival fans during “quieter” matches. The Highland club has applied for permission to alter the licence for the club’s Family Sports Bar at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium to allow away supporters to have a drink before and after a match. However, the move is being opposed by Northern Constabulary, and the clerk to the licensing board has also voiced concerns about the potential for clashes between rival fans. (Scotsman)

IN BRIEF

• All 30 SFL clubs will meet at Hampden in a fortnight’s time to work out a strategy on league reconstruction. (Herald)

• St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas has been given a suspended two-match ban for accusing Ross County’s Richard Brittain of “cheating” in September’s match. (Various)

• Dumbarton want to talk to former Hibs captain Ian Murray, who is currently without a club, about taking over as player-manager. (Various)

• Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston has denied rumours his club is in financial meltdown after problems paying monthly wages. (Various)

 

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