Rumour Mill: Rangers | Ian Cathro | Celtic

Gary Mackay-Steven: Celtic target. Picture: SNS
Gary Mackay-Steven: Celtic target. Picture: SNS
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ROBERT Sarver tables increased bid to buy Rangers; Hamilton Academical boss Alex Neil on brink of Norwich move; Rangers deny Ian Cathro approach, plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip

Robert Sarver makes revised £20m Rangers bid

Robert Sarver has tabled another bid to buy Rangers by offering an investment of up to £20 million in exchange for a majority shareholding

In a statement issued this morning, Rangers confirmed that Sarver, who owns the NBA basketball outfit Phoenix Suns, had submitted a revised proposal to take over the club.

Sarver, commenting on the announcement, said: “This revised proposal hopefully helps the board deal with its short-term cashflow crunch and also addresses my desire to see the club on a solid long-term financial footing.” (Scotsman)

Hamilton boss Alex Neil keen on Norwich move

Hamilton Academical are preparing to lose the services of highly-rated manager Alex Neil after the 33-year-old spent yesterday in talks with Norwich City officials over the vacant job at Carrow Road.

Hamilton chairman Ronnie Macdonald granted Norwich permission to speak to Neil after the English Championship club made contact with the Scottish Premiership side on Tuesday night. Neil’s odds tumbled from 33-1 to evens for the Norwich job with Scottish betting firm McBookie.com before the market was suspended. (Scotsman)

Rangers deny making Ian Cathro approach

Rangers have denied making an official approach to Valencia to speak to assistant head coach Ian Cathro following reports yesterday linking the Scot with the Ibrox club.

But the Scottish Sun reports this morning that the board are encouraged by supporters’ positive reaction to Cathro as talks behind the scenes gathered pace.

The 28-year-old is currently assisting Nuno Espirito Santo at Valencia and together they have helped lead the club to fourth place in La Liga, just five points behind leaders Real Madrid.

(Scotsman, Scottish Sun)

Celtic in bid to buy Gary Mackay-Steven

Celtic are mulling over a bid to buy Gary Mackay-Steven, according to reports. Mackay-Steven is one of several Dundee United players Ronny Deila is keen to recruit in the January window, with Nadir Ciftci and Stuart Armstrong also in the frame.

Dundee United would seek at least £2 million from the Parkhead club for Mackay-Steven, and are under no pressure to sell as they announced a £1.2 million profit earlier this month. That said, the Tannadice outfit may yet decide to cash in on Mackay-Steven rather than allow his deal to expire in the summer, thereby letting him go for nothing. (Scottish Sun)

Ryan McGowan back and open to offers

Ryan McGowan has targeted a return to British football after his deal expired in China – and reckons he will come back a better player than the one that left Hearts two years ago.

The former Tynecastle defender’s contract with Shandong Luneng Taishan ended last week but only after he helped his side win the national cup for a record fifth time.

McGowan – who featured in three games for Australia at last summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil – ultimately wants to play in the English Premier League. But he is open to all offers and would consider a return to Scotland. (Scotsman)

Celtic hopes of signing Martin Odegaard are fading

Ronny Deila’s hopes of luring Martin Odegaard to Celtic look slimmer than ever after it emerged that Real Madrid are in pole position to sign Norway’s teenage midfielder.

Odegaard, who made his full debut under Deila for Stromsgodset aged 15, arrived in Madrid yesterday to begin talks with the European champions with a view to completing his transfer to the Bernabeu stadium from the Norwegian side.

The 16-year-old has attracted attention from top European clubs including Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester United and Ajax, but Deila had hoped his connection with the player and his family might persuade him to use Celtic as a stepping stone to a bigger club as he continues his development. (Scotsman)

Pat Nevin defends BBC over ‘trial by Sportscene’

If Sportscene were to shy away from moments of controversy, it would be the equivalent of a player shirking a tackle during a game, according to former player and BBC pundit Pat Nevin.

After St Johnstone’s James McFadden was retrospectively punished thanks to television footage showing the former Scotland striker making an offensive gesture, manager Tommy Wright voiced his irritation at what he described as “trial by Sportscene”. But, despite claiming he is “saddened” that McFadden has been punished for a moment of silliness highlighted on Sunday night’s highlights programme, Nevin has defended his broadcast employers.

“It’s not trial by Sportscene, it’s trial by television and, by that, I mean every single television company would do that. They won’t try to cover it up or hide it, and I don’t think it is their job to do that. But I don’t think they do it to cause players or managers problems either. We are just reporters and covering the action and all the main talking points is what we are there for.” (Scotsman)