Gary Mackay-Steven linked with loan move to Ross County; Rangers could replace kit mid-season and Patrick Roberts out for three weeks
Cruel blow for Shinnie and Lewis as pass bobbles into net
TALK about adding insult to injury - this innocuous passback from Graeme Shinnie hit a divot and bobbled into the net as 10-man Aberdeen crashed out of the Europa League at the hands of Maribor.
Staggies in for Mackay-Steven?
ROSS County have been linked with a loan move for Celtic winger Gary Mackay-Steven.
The Staggies are keen on bringing the Thurso-born star back to Dingwall as he comes back from an ankle injury.
He has three years left on his Celtic deal but appears to be surplus to requirements. (Various)
Rangers ‘could replace kit mid-season’
Rangers could ditch the controversial Puma strip released without their consent and replace it with a new kit midway through the season.
It is understood the option is among a number of moves Ibrox bosses are currently exploring following the breakdown of their relationship with Puma and Sports Direct.
The jersey row was sparked on Wednesday evening when Puma confirmed it had released a batch of kits for sale to Sports Direct and other retailers – despite the club’s objections. (The Scotsman)
Roberts ‘out for three weeks’
CELTIC face a Champions League sweat over the fitness of Patrick Roberts, who limped out of the 2-1 win over Astana on Wednesday night.
The on-loan Manchester City kid sustained a hamstring injury, and could face up to three weeks on the sidelines.
Celtic are hopeful that Roberts will be fit for the next tie but he will definitely sit out the Premiership opener against Hearts and the League Cup clash with Motherwell. (Daily Express)
McInnes slams ref after Euro exit
ABERDEEN manager Derek McInnes hit out at Bulgarian referee Nikola Popov after Aberdeen crashed out of Europe last night in Maribor.
The Dons were furious about a series of decisions by the referee, culminating in the sending off of Jayden Stockley for two alleged elbowing offences just eight minutes after he came on as a sub.
McInnes was also unhappy that no advantage was played when Adam Rooney was tripped by Maribor keeper Jasmin Handanovic in the box and Niall McGinn put the ball into an empty net.
McInnes said: “The referee and all the officials were really poor tonight. Games are decided on key moments and you could talk about Rooney’s penalty miss but we still had to overcome the officials.” (The Scotsman)
Lennon baffled by ban
NEIL Lennon says he has been left “gobsmacked” by the five-match ban meted out by Uefa in the wake of his sending off against Brondby.
The Hibernian manager branded the ban “ridiculous”, claiming he was so shocked that he almost sprayed his drink over the club’s head of football operations, George Craig, when he broke the news of his punishment.
“I knew about the ban last week as George told me and I spat my coffee out. I could not believe it was a five game ban. “It is just ridiculous and a piece of nonsense really,” said Lennon.
“We will appeal it and whether we win it, I don’t know,” he said. “The wording of the charge is ridiculous.” (The Scotsman)
Barton set to miss Gers games for book promos
JOEY Barton could be forced to miss Rangers games if the Ibrox club advances to the last eight of the League Cup - because he’s agreed to promote his book No Nonsense.
Barton has signed up for a ticketed Q&A in London on September 21 - one of the dates set aside for the cup quarter finals.
The Gers could play their clash on Tuesday if they make it that far - but any fixture swap would require the agreement of their opponents. (Scottish Sun)
Hoops to make new bid for Sinclair
CELTIC are set to make a fresh bid for Aston Villa winger Scott Sinclair, with Villa believed to be willing to accept a lower offer after splashing out £12 million on Ross McCormack.
Villa had initially wanted £5 million from Celtic for the former Manchester City and Swansea wideman. (Daily Record)
Astana chief blasts ‘biased’ ref
ASTANA president Sayan Khamitzhanov has blasted Romanian referee Ostvan Kovacs and accused the whistler of being biased towards Celtic in the Champions League qualifier.
Kovacs awarded two penalties to Celtic including one at the death, which Moussa Dembele converted to send Celtic through.
Khamitzhanov said: “To give two penalty kicks in stoppage-time of each half is very unusual.” (Scottish Sun)
Killie ‘to shrink pitch’
KILMARNOCK have shrunk the size of the Rugby Park pitch just days before the start of the SPFL season.
Killie have both shortened and narrowed the dimensions of the artificial pitch at the request of manager Lee Clark ‘for tactical reasons’. (Daily Mail)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Faissal El Bakhtaoui has vowed to fill the void left by Kane Hemmings’ departure from Dundee
• Robbie Neilson will make a decision on Polish stopper Krystian Nowak in the coming days
• Dundee United have been dealt a blow with defender Paul Dixon facing a longer spell on the sidelines after picking up an injury