RANGERS target Scotland international and former Hearts playmaker to boost firepower; Kilmarnock look to sign former Rangers duo Lee McCulloch and Kris Boyd; top clubs discuss reinstating winter break in time for 2016/17 season; plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Winter break may be reinstated by 2016/17 season
Scottish football chiefs are exploring the possibility of reinstating a winter break, with insiders suggesting that it could be pushed through in time for the 2016-17 Premiership season.
The move comes as the season becomes more and more elongated and follows a summer in which many players have managed only a couple of weeks off due to club and international commitments. (Scotland on Sunday)
Ronny Deila trims squad as he tells fringe men to move on
Ronny Deila has indicated that he plans to make a severe cut to his Celtic playing squad in order to bring through the club’s youth players and integrate them into the senior squad. He said 21 or 22 first-team players, excluding the goalkeepers, would be the desired number.
He said: “It’s important to develop the club that way and if you have too big a squad and they end up 23, 24, 25, a 26-year-old who is No.26 in the squad, there’s no future for them. And it is hard for me to see them every day and give them what they need as well. So it is best for everyone.” (Scotland on Sunday)
Kilmarnock eye up Kris Boy and Lee McCulloch
Kris Boyd and Lee McCulloch, released from Rangers at the end of the season, may find themselves playing in the division above if Kilmarnock make good on their interest in signing the pair.
Manager Gary Locke said McCulloch is still holding out for a new deal at Ibrox, but was hopeful of signing him after “tentative talks.
Of Boyd, he said: “It’s no secret that I am looking for a striker and I’ve been keen on Kris for some time.” (Sunday Express)
Alan Stubbs looking forward to David Weir reunion
Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs is looking forward to facing off against old Everton team-mate David Weir when Rangers’ new No 2 takes his seat in the dugout alongside Mark Warburton.
Reminiscing about their playing days in England, Stubbs said: “We had a really good understanding and I knew his game and he knew my game and we read the game very well. We weren’t exactly blessed with speed but we were very intelligent as footballers and we read the game really well. We were very quick in the brain and if you have got that, it can be as good as being fast. Sometimes you can be quick and thick… we weren’t that.” (Scotland on Sunday)
Rangers target Jason Holt and Stevie May to boost firepower
Rangers manager Mark Warburton is looking into adding to some attacking guile to his squad as he considers signing Scotland international and Sheffield Wednesday striker Stevie May and midfielder Jason Holt, who Hearts released at the end of last season.
The quest to capture Holt, who spent time at Sheffield United on loan. is driven by Warburton’s desire to field homegrown players, while the club’s pursuit of May will add proven firepower to Rangers’ challenge to escape the Scottish Championship. (Sunday Post Sport, The Scottish Sun on Sunday)
Dedryck Boyata can still be star, says Ronny Deila
Ronny Deila has talked up Dedryck Boyata’s chances of being a Celtic regular despite spending much of last season on the sidelines.
With the departure of Jason Denaye, on loan from Manchester City, it is hoped Boyata can impose himself on Deila’s squad – and the manager has said all Boyata needs is some TLC.
“Dedryck’s an athlete. He’s quick and very good on the ball, tall and good in the air. He just needs love and the trust to play in matches.” (The Scottish Sun on Sunday)