Rumour Mill: Hampden pitch demand | Old Firm chant probe

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SPFL chiefs make demand to Hampden chiefs over ‘shambolic’ pitch; SPFL mulling over Old Firm chant probe; Celtic sign Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong from Dundee United and more in Tuesday’s Rumour Mill

Celtic sign Mackay-Steven and Armstrong from Dundee United

Serious questions were asked about the state of the Hampden turf during Sunday's game. Picture: John Devlin

Serious questions were asked about the state of the Hampden turf during Sunday's game. Picture: John Devlin

CELTIC last night sealed a deadline day double signing from Dundee United after the Tannadice club accepted a combined fee of around £2 million for Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven.

The Scottish champions had appeared set to be frustrated in their efforts to secure 22-year-old midfielder Armstrong, having had two previous offers for the player rejected by United chairman Stephen Thompson earlier in the January transfer window. But, just a few hours before last night’s midnight deadline, Celtic were successful with an offer believed to comprise a fee of £1.6 million and a sizeable sell-on clause.

Celtic also persuaded United to part company with Mackay-Steven, having previously signed a pre-contract agreement with the 24-year-old winger for a move at the end of the season. A fee of around £250,000 secured his immediate recruitment. (Scotsman.com)

SPFL mulling over Old Firm chant probe

SPFL chiefs are awaiting three reports from Sunday’s game between Celtic and Rangers before deciding if a probe should be launched into sectarian chanting and banners. They will await reports from the police match commander, referee Craig Thomson and a Hampden safety officer before deciding if either or both clubs should face sanctions. Rangers fans sung offencsive songs including the ‘Billy Boys’ and the ‘Famine Song’, while Celtic fans reportedly sang songs in support of the IRA. (Daily Record)

SPFL chiefs make demand to Hampden chiefs over ‘shambolic’ pitch

RAGING SPFL chiefs have ordered the owners of Hampden to sort out the pitch that ruined the weekend’s League Cup semi-finals before the final on March 15.

Players and coaching staff from Celtic, Rangers, Dundee United and Aberdeen slaughtered the playing surface that cut up badly on Saturday and Sunday.

Parkhead boss Ronny Deila claimed the Scottish game cannot hope to develop talent if its national stadium’s pitch is such a mess.

The SPFL agree and last night released a stinging statement aimed at Hampden Park Ltd, who are responsible for the upkeep of the park, demanding that the pitch is fit for purpose by the time Celtic and Dundee United lock horns in six weeks. (Daily Record)

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Rangers sign five loanees from Newcastle as SFA up Ashley investigation

RANGERS have moved to sign FIVE fringe-players from Newcastle - in a move that is set to raise more eyebrows at the SFA.

Ibrox chiefs captured Gael Bigirimana, Shane Ferguson, Kevin Mbabu, Remie Streete and Haris Vuckic from St James’s Park on a day they knocked back moves to take Dean Shiels and Nicky Law away from Govan.

The St James’s Park group agreed moves to the Scottish Championship to boost Kenny McDowall’s squad for the remainder of the promotion bid.

Rangers and Mike Ashley currently face notices of complaint over alleged rule breaches relating to his dual interest in the Ibrox club and Newcastle.

The SFA have confirmed the Londoner’s hearing will take place on March 2 and Rangers’ case will be heard on March 16 and the signing of the players could be seen as another aggravating factor between the clubs in the case against Ashley. (Daily Record)

Craig Gordon says Rangers high ball game played right into his hands

CRAIG GORDON reckons disarming Rangers’ only genuine weapon helped him enjoy a Hampden day out.

The Celtic goalie didn’t have a single shot to save as his side coasted past the Ibrox team and into the League Cup Final.

The Celtic No.1 said: “Right from the start I was looking to dominate my box and take any balls coming in.

“I knew that if we gave away free-kicks they would be looking to put balls into the box.

“Rangers played how we thought they might, trying to get men behind the ball and looking to hit us on the counter with a more direct ball.” (Daily Record)

Aberdeen sign midfielder Kenny McLean from St Mirren

ABERDEEN last night signalled an intent to try to push Celtic in the race for the Premiership title by forking out a reported £300,000 for in-form St Mirren midfielder Kenny McLean.

McLean travelled north to Pittodrie yesterday morning and, after undergoing a medical and completing the formalities, put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year deal. (Scotsman.com)

Hibernian sign Fraser Fyvie

Hibs completed the signing of former Scotland under-21 Fraser Fyvie until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old joins the Hibs after leaving Wigan Athletic by mutual consent.

Fyvie said last night: “I’m really pleased to sign for Hibs – as soon as I heard about the opportunity it excited me. (Scotsman.com)

Summary of all the transfer deadline day deals in Scotland

01:00 - Robbie Muirhead [Kilmarnock - Dundee United] £150,000

00:22 - Marvin Johnson [Kidderminster - Motherwell] Undisclosed

00:25 - Tony Andreu [Hamilton - Norwich] Undisclosed

23:46 - Danny Swanson [Coventry - St Johnstone] Loan

23:51 - Stuart Armstrong [Dundee United - Celtic] Undisclosed

23:51 - Gary Mackay-Steven [Dundee United - Celtic] Undisclosed

23:33 - Gary MacKenzie [Blackpool - Bradford] Loan

23:30 - Gael Bigirimana [Newcastle - Rangers] Loan

23:30 - Shane Ferguson [Newcastle - Rangers] Loan

23:30 - Kevin Mbabu [Newcastle - Rangers] Loan

23:30 - Remie Streete [Newcastle - Rangers] Loan

23:30 - Haris Vuckic [Newcastle - Rangers] Loan

23:23 - Filip Twardzik [Celtic - Bolton] Undisclosed

22:55 - Conor Grant [Everton - Motherwell] Loan

22:26 - Fraser Fyvie [Wigan - Hibernian] Free

22:15 - Paul Dixon [Huddersfield - Dundee United] Free

21:20 - Lyle Taylor [Scunthorpe - Partick Thistle] Loan

19:18 - Emmanuel Sonupe [Tottenham - St Mirren] Loan

18:27 - Stephen McGinn [Sheffield United - Dundee] Free

18:27 - Ben Priest [Wolves - Dundee] Free

17:42 - Paul Heffernan [Hibernian - Dundee] Free

17:39 - Kenny McLean [St Mirren - Aberdeen] £300,000

17:17 - Dylan Carreiro [Dundee - Arbroath] Loan

17:15 - Phil Roberts [Dundee - Alloa] Loan

17:12 - Ola Adeyemo [Dundee United - East Fife] Loan

15:44 - Keigan Parker [Airdrieonians - Clyde] Free

09:27 - Nico Sumsky [Dukla Banska Bystrica - Hamilton Academical] Free

08:59 - Kenny Anderson [RKC Waalwijk - Hearts] Nominal (BBC.co.uk)

Dundee United snap up ‘excellent prospect’ Robbie Muirhead

Dundee United moved quickly to snap up another excellent prospect, after losing two key players to Celtic.

Kilmarnock announced the sale of attacker Robbie Muirhead via their official website, after midnight, giving those over at Tannadice a pick-me-up after a disappointing day.

Despite sitting just six points behind Celtic in the SPL table, United caved into the league leaders offers and sold Gary Mackay-Steven - ahead of his pre-contract deal - and winger Scott Armstrong.

Muirhead, 18, is a Scotland youth international with three goals in five games for the under-19s. (HITC.com)

Nadir Ciftci defiant over Cup final suspension

Confident Nadir Ciftci has given a defiant reaction to confirmation he’ll miss the League Cup Final against Celtic through suspension — his aim is to make sure he doesn’t miss the Scottish Cup Final in similar circumstances!

United’s goal hero in the semi victory over Aberdeen was informed shortly after the game he was out of next month’s date against Celtic because of picking up two bookings.

“I want to play in the final so, of course, I’m devastated,” he said.

“But it is good that I helped the team there and I am happy I have done that. And we have still got the Scottish Cup so, hopefully, I can make the final of that!” (Evening Telegraph)

Busy transfer deadline day for Dundee boss Hartley

Dundee FC boss Paul Hartley had a busy last few hours of the transfer window, clinching two signings and securing another player on a permanent deal.

As the deadline loomed, Hibs striker Paul Heffernan signed after being formally released from his contract at Easter Road.

The 33-year-old former Kilmarnock man has agreed a deal until the end of the season.

There was another new arrival at Dens in the form of Wolves youngster Ben Priest, a central defender who will be part of the development squad.

And a spokesman for the club confirmed: “Following his move to the club on loan last week, Stephen McGinn has joined the club on a permanent deal.

(Evening Telegraph)

Busy Baraclough makes last minute swoops for Motherwell

Early in the day Sheffield United and England Under-21 goalkeeper George Long penned a temporary move until the end of the season, while Everton starlet Conor Grant did likewise just minutes before close of play.

Meanwhile, the club snapped up 20-year-old winger Nathan Thomas from Plymouth Argyle and Kidderminster wide man Marvin Johnson.

Long has played 80 games for the Blades first team and will provide competition to current Steelmen shot stopper Dan Twardzik. (Evening Times)

News in brief:

Gary Cahill could be set to be dropped as Jose Mourinho shuffles his squad. (Various)

Louis Van Gaal has claimed the world are against Man United. (Mirror)

West Ham could face being kicked out of the FA cup over a probe into striker Daifra Sakho. (Mirror)

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