Rumour Mill: Wigan eye Stubbs | Celtic want de Girolamo

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Alan Stubbs wanted by Wigan as new boss; Celtic linked with Italian starlet; Stuart McCall reveals he was warned by Walter Smith about taking the Rangers job plus more news and gossip in Tuesday’s Rumour Mill

Hibs boss frontrunner for Wigan hotseat

Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs. Picture: Gordon Fraser

HIBERNIAN manager Alan Stubbs is in the frame to take over from Malky Mackay at Wigan Athletic after the latter was sensationally sacked on Monday.

Stubbs signed a two-year contract at Easter Road in the summer, and is locked in a promotion battle with Rangers to return to the top flight. The former Celtic and Everton stopper is thought to be amongst the frontrunners for the job.

Mackay and Wigan parted company after the 2-0 defeat to Derby. (Daily Mail)

Celtic linked with Italian starlet de Girolamo

The stands are rocking again and you’ve no idea the positive difference that makes to a player when you’re out on the pitch

Gary McCallister

CELTIC have been linked with Italian starlet Diego de Girolamo.

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder, who can also play up front, is currently with Sheffield United, and is out of contract this summer.

The Chesterfield-born attacker qualifies for Italy through his father.

De Girolamo has made just two appearances for the Blades, and has had three loan spells with York City, playing 12 matches and scoring four goals. He is currently at Northampton Town until the end of the season. (Daily Mail)

Neilson ‘won’t allow sentiment to affect Eckersley decisio

HEARTS head Robbie Neilson insists he won’t allow sentiment to interfere with his bid to improve the squad after telling defender Adam Eckersley that his contract will not be renewed.

Former Manchester United trainee Eckersley was informed last Thursday that he will be free to leave when his one-year deal expires this summer after signing for Hearts last August.

The decision has surprised some fans, especially after seeing the 29-year-old impress in 25 games during the club’s Championship-title-winning campaign.

Neilson said: “He’s a professional guy and he has been a big part of the squad. A lot of difficult decisions have to be made at the moment.

“There are going to be a lot of difficult decisions to come up and that was the first one. We move on, the club has to evolve.” (The Scotsman)

Kilmarnock ponder Robinson move

KILMARNOCK have been linked with out-of-favour Hearts midfielder Scott Robinson.

Gary Locke agreed a three-year contract last week to become the permanent manager at Rugby Park and is keen to sign Robinson, along with Rangers striker Kris Boyd.

Robinson played under Locke at Tynecastle last season and could now rejoin his former manager in Ayrshire. The 23-year-old is surplus to requirements at Tynecastle and is out of contact in a matter of weeks. He has made only eight first-team appearances this season, the last being as a substitute against Hibs at the start of January. Kilmarnock hope to tie him up as one of the first components of Locke’s rebuilding plan. (Evening News)

Smith ‘warned McCall’ over taking Rangers job

RANGERS manager Stuart McCall has revealed he was warned about taking over at Ibrox by Walter Smith – but insists he has made the right decision.

The former Rangers midfielder steered his new side to their third victory on the bounce with Sunday’s 2-1 win over Hearts.

But he has revealed nine-in-a-row boss Smith – who McCall says was the “greatest manager” he ever worked for – called after he agreed to replace Kenny McDowall.

McCall, who still does not know if he will remain in charge beyond the summer, said: “Walter Smith rung me up on the day I took the job and asked if I knew what I’d let myself in for. In fairness, he understood I would never have got the opportunity to manage such a wonderful club like this [were it not for the club’s current circumstances].

“Even though I knew it was a gamble and the pitfalls, just to be part of it has been great. Regardless of what happens at the end of the season, I have relished every minute of it and I’m thoroughly enjoying it, especially with the results being good.” (The Scotsman)

Aberdeen fans ‘right to chastise players’

Aberdeen gaffer Derek McInnes has come and out and said Dons fans have every right to blast his players after the poor form they showed in their goalless draw against Partick Thistle.

He and the players have equally expressed their frustration and disappointment.

McInnes said: “There’s nothing wrong with supporters being unhappy. I wasn’t happy with the performance and neither were the team.

“Sometimes it can grate a wee bit that fans are quick to show their frustrations but not so quick to get behind the team when things are going well.” (Daily Record)

McAllister: Gers will take some stopping

Former Scotland skipper Gary McAllister has insisted that Rangers are heading into the play-offs in the best possible form thanks to the passion shown by Stuart McCall rubbing off on the players.

Having gone from frustration at the side’s form, winning only three league games in a row since November, McAllister insists the influence of new arrival McCall has turned things around.

Hibs can reclaim second place if they take home three points at Dumbarton on Wednesday night.

McAllister said: “The size of the support at the biggest clubs always makes a difference and Ibrox was much like its old self during the game against Hearts.

“The stands are rocking again and you’ve no idea the positive difference that makes to a player when you’re out on the pitch. Now the Rangers fans are onside with their team again and it looks like a different group of players. (Daily Record)

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