Rumour Mill: Steven Naismith | Jack Harper | Hibs

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Ex-Rangers duo Steven Naismith and Steven Davis hint at Ibrox return; Spain set to tempt Real Madrid Scot Jack Harper to switch allegiance and NFL linebacker says he would have been flagged for Lee Wallace’s challenge on Paul Hanlon in Rangers’ 2-0 win over Hibs

Naismith, Davis refuse to rule out Rangers return

Steven Naismith pictured in action against England in November last year. Picture: John Devlin

Steven Naismith pictured in action against England in November last year. Picture: John Devlin

FORMER Rangers duo Steven Naismith and Steven Davis have refused to rule out a return to Ibrox, just days after former team-mate Kyle Lafferty admitted he would jump at the chance to return to Rangers, insisting he has ‘unfinished business’ at the club.

And Scotland star Naismith, who is enjoying life at Everton, said that he’d ‘never rule anything out’ when asked if he could see himself back at Ibrox.

He added: “Our times at Rangers are probably the best in our careers. We were a successful team and had some great memories.

“At the moment I love playing for Everton. I love it at the moment but you never know things can change so quickly in football. I’d never rule anything out to be honest.”

Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus. Picture: SNS

Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus. Picture: SNS

And Davis, who will face Naismith at Hampden tonight, added: “In football you never know. I loved my time there. If the opportunity arose then it would be something I would have to consider.

“It’s a club I look back on fondly. It was a great time in my career. I was lucky enough to have four and a half really successful years there and the positives largely outweighed any negatives.” (Various)

Spain urge Jack Harper to switch allegiance

SPAIN could be set to pinch Jack Harper from under Scotland’s nose following Ricky Sbragia’s comments after omitting the 19-year-old from his recent U19 squad.

Sbragia labelled Harper a ‘luxury’ and suggested that he wanted more height in his squad.

And the 6ft 1in Harper was reportedly contacted by Spain just hours after his omission from the squad.

Malaga-born Harper qualifies for Scotland through his Scottish parents, but his dad John told the Daily Record: “The day after Scotland announced the under-19 squad, and Jack wasn’t included, Spain were on the phone asking about his position and international status.

“Their national academy is just a few miles from Real Madrid’s own training ground, so they know about Jack because they watch his team often enough.

“Jack wants to play for Scotland. I’m Scottish, so is his mum and the rest of the family. He is committed to Scotland, but if nothing is happening by the time he is 21 then he will have a decision to make because he has a life and a career to fulfil. Hopefully, it won’t come to that.

“To describe Jack as a ‘luxury player’ is a bit harsh. The word ‘luxury’ is a bit strong, but I have no wish to verbally assassinate the Scotland coach.” (Daily Record)

NFL linebacker’s surprise at Wallace tackle

HOUSTON Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus says even HE would have been penalised for taking out Paul Hanlon like Lee Wallace did in Rangers’ 2-0 win over Hibs.

Mercilus was stunned when referee Willie Collum played on despite Wallace wiping out the Hibs stopper in the lead-up to Kenny Miller’s strike.

And Mercilus - holidaying in Edinburgh - said: “Tackling is my job so I loved that tackle in the build-up to the second goal - in fact I would have been proud of it! When I saw it I thought: ‘Whoa, we’re not in American football’.

“But the Hibs fans didn’t love it and I understand because even in our game that would have been a penalty.

“That would have been picked up and a yellow flag would have been on straight away. So I was surprised it went unpunished.” (The Sun)

Dundee slap £1m price tag on Celtic target

DUNDEE have told Celtic to cough up £1 million if they want to tempt Scott Bain away from Dens Park.

Celtic have been linked with a move for the former Alloa ‘keeper in the summer, to replace Lukasz Zaluska who is likely to leave at the end of his contract.

But Dundee are keen to pick up a big fee for a player under contract until the end of the 2016/17 season. (The Sun)