Rumour Mill: Rangers | Celtic | Hibs & Malonga

Mike Ashley could rename Ibrox 'at the drop of a hat'. Picture: Getty
Mike Ashley could rename Ibrox 'at the drop of a hat'. Picture: Getty
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Rangers fans plan Sports Direct boycott after staff TUPEd across onto Ashley payroll; John Guidetti completes Celtic switch and Hibs take ex-Serie A striker on trial.

Rangers fans plan Sports Direct boycott

FURIOUS Rangers fans are planning to boycott Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct outlets after the Newcastle United owner transferred 51 staff from the Ibrox club’s retail stores to his own shops.

In the wake of revelations suggesting Ashley could rename the stadium ‘at the drop of a hat’, the club confirmed that a number of retail staff in stores in Glasgow and Belfast had switched to Sports Direct.

Ashley bought 3 million shares in the club when Charles Green - who sold the Ibrox naming rights to him for £1 - floated Rangers on the stock market in December 2012.

The Sports Direct boss has a 4.56 per cent stake in Rangers but fans are concerned that the tycoon could attempt to rename Ibrox in the same way he rebranded St James’ Park.

And Sandy Easdale has fuelled that concern by earmarking Ashley as the ‘guy who can help [Rangers] at this moment in time’. (The Scotsman)

Guidetti ‘cant wait’ to play at Parkhead

JOHN Guidetti finally completed his transfer to Celtic last night and declared: “I cannot wait to get out there and start playing in front of those fans.”

FIFA granted permission for the loan deal to proceed after an appeal by the Scottish football authorities.

Celtic had attempted to sign Guidetti on transfer deadline day but the deal hit a snag after it was reported that the club had submitted the necessary paperwork after the deadline. (Various)

Hibs take Malonga on trial

HIBS have handed a trial to former Cesena and Torino forward Dominique Malonga in a bid to solve their striker problem.

Farid El Alagui has been ruled out until January after rupturing his Achilles, and head coach Alan Stubbs is keen to find a replacement for the former Falkirk hitman.

Malonga is a free agent after leaving Italian side Cesena, having spent most of his career in Serie A and Serie B in Italy, along with a spell at Real Murcia.

Believed to be a similar striker to El Alagui, Malonga is a tall, powerful striker and was on Monaco’s books as a youth.

He scored two goals in two appearances for France Under-19s, and received a call up to the Congo national side in August 2012. (Various)

Dundee United reject takeover bid

STEPHEN Thompson has revealed he knocked back an approach earlier this year regarding a possible takeover of Dundee United.

Thompson confirmed earlier this week that United owe no money to the bank, telling the Courier: “I’m not interested in selling.

“I was approached by a third party on behalf of a potential investor in England, who wanted to know whether I was interested in selling the club.

“I told them that the club was not for sale. We have worked too hard to get us to where we are to sell up now.” (Courier)

Killie squad call in union over pay row

ANGRY Kilmarnock players have called on the players’ union to help them settle a dispute over pay with Rugby Park chief Michael Johnston.

It is understood that the chairman has made available a pot of £20,000 to be split between the entire playing pool if Killie secure 10th in the Scottish Premiership.

The club have done away with a win bonus system, with Allan Johnston’s men in line to pick up just a few hundred pounds each if they finish 10th.

A source said: “The players believe Johnston is taking the p*** and they are not prepared to put up with it.

“There are a lot of young boys in that dressing room and they don’t want to kick up a fuss over this but at the same time they realise they have to stand up for themselves where this is concerned.

“Players talk and these guys know that they are being offered a pittance compared to the going rate at other clubs, both in weekly win bonuses and for survival at the end of the season.” (Daily Record)