CELTIC issue ‘hands-off’ warning over Stefan Johansen; Derek Soutar and Dundee United fans speak out following his dismissal; SPFL launch investigation into pitch invasion ‘attack’ on Rab Douglas; County’s Raffaele De Vita and Jim McIntyre scoop March Player and Manager of the Month awards, plus more news and gossip in Tuesday’s Rumour Mill
Celtic say no go for Stefan Johansen
CELTIC issued a warning to German clubs over Stefan Johansen after a host of Bundesliga sides are poised to make a bid for the Hoops star.
Parkhead has insisted that he is not for sale after his performances for the club have caught the attention of European scouts.
Several English clubs are also keeping tabs on the 24-year-old Norwegian.
Norway boss Per Mathias Hogmo said he thought Johansen would soon be playing in the Bundesliga. (The Scottish Sun)
Derek Soutar hits out at United bosses
Coach Derek Soutar has spoken out about his dismissal this week following comments he made on social media after the Dundee Derby last Wednesday, branding Dundee United as “petty.”
The former Dundee goalkeeper tweeted his support for his old club, who won the match 3 - 1.
The 33-year-old - a coach at Dundee United’s youth academy - was dismissed just hours after the final whistle.
He has insisted the comments on social media amounted to ‘banter’, saying: “It is very petty.
“Had the club won last Wednesday, would I have got a phone call? No chance. For folk that really know me to take offence, I can’t believe that.”
Senior academy manager Brian Grant told Soutar United were relieving him of his duties
Soutar said: “I asked why. It was a case of they were going down a different route and also there had been a few complaints regarding posts I had put on social media.”
United have so far made no official comment. (The Daily Record)
• Dundee United fans hit out at Derek Soutar, calling him ‘foolish’ for tweeting his support for Dundee’s first derby win in a decade.
Ronnie Clark of supporters club Perth Arabs said: “It’s a foolish and stupid thing he did.”
Christopher Bennison of Ceres Arabs added: “I can’t speak for all Dundee United fans but all club employees will presumably sign up to a specific code of conduct and he violated it.” (The Daily Record)
Police probe Rab Douglas pitch invasion ‘attack’
The SPFL have launched an investigation into the incident at the end of Forfar’s League 1 victory over Airdrie at the weekend after supporters invaded the pitch and allegedly attacked former Scotland goalkeeper Rab Douglas.
Two Airdrie supporters appeared to confront Douglas before stewards intervened after fans ran onto the pitch at the final whistle after Forfar won 2 - 0 and dented Airdrie’s hopes of securing a place in the promotion play-offs.
Referee Euan Anderson is expected to include the skirmish in his match report and the governing body will also write to both Forfar and Airdrie for their take on events, and speak to stewards and police about the match.
He said: “I love being close to the fans but tell them not to come into my box. That’s when you cross the line.
“Stay out of my area or if you are brave enough to come on then you have to accept what you get.”
It is the second time Douglas has been involved in a incident, having wrestled a pitch invader to the ground at a Dundee derby in 1998. (The Scotsman)
Raffaele De Vita scoops Player of the Month
Ross County midfielder Raffaele De Vita has won the Premiership Player of the Month for March.
The 27-year-old has scored three times since his debut in February and scooped the gong alongside manager Jim McIntyre who took home his second consecutive Manager of the Month award.
De Vita said: “I am 100 per cent surprised at how well it’s gone. Even if I had been positive I couldn’t have thought we could go on such a good run.
“This award is a credit to everyone because we’ve been on a fantastic run and no-one really expected it even though we’ve worked so hard to start picking up points and turn the situation around.” (Press and Journal)
Motherwell could avoid the drop with perfect 10
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough is still working out an escape route for his squad as they seek to avoid relegation.
Following a 2 - 1 defeat on Saturday at Partick Thistle, Motherwell are adrift in 11th place and seven points behind Thistle.
Going into the last five games, Baraclough still hopes that Motherwell can move up the table with Ross County, Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock dropping points.
He said: “We’re in 11th spot and we’ve got to go and win games of football against teams around us to drag ourselves back up there again and make sure that we’ve played for the 15 points available we are in at least 10th spot.” (The Herald)
Hibs had no option but to win, says El Alagui
Hibernian hero Farid El Alagui has insisted that the Hibees had no choice but to beat Hearts on Sunday to maintain their push for second spot.
Hibs stayed above Rangers on goal difference following the 2 - 0 victory in the Edinburgh Derby.
With Rangers a game in hand, Alan Stubb’s side are under no illusions that they can afford to slip up as they cling on to the runners-up position.
El Alagui said: “I think we had no choice on Sunday; we had to win if we want to fight with Rangers for the second spot, which is massive.” (The Herald)
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