Rangers were dealt a fresh blow over injured star Niko Kranjcar; Gordon Strachan has admitted his suprise after Alan Hutton quits the Scotland squad; Brendan Rodgers hopes Celtic can attract new young talent off the back of Dembele’s success; plus more news and gossip in Sunday’s Rumour Mill
Kranjcar dealt fresh blow by Croatian FA doctor
Rangers were dealt a blow after a Croatian national team doctor suggested Niko Kranjcar would be out of the game for eight months due to injury.
The Croat snapped a cruciate ligament in training last month but manager Mark Warburton had hoped the defender would be back to fitness within six months.
Croatian FA doctor and knee specialist Dr Boris Nemec believes it will be far longer than first thought before the 32-year-old is back fighting fit, but reckons there’s no reason why the setback should impact on the Rangers’ star’s career. (Sunday Post)
Strachan surprised at Hutton quitting Scotland squad
Gordon Strachan has admitted his suprise at Alan Hutton’s decision to quit the national squad, saying it had been “a wee bit out of the blue”.
Hutton, 31, said he no longer wanted to be considered for selection to the Scotland squad.
There was nothing in their conversations that suggested he was quitting in a fit of pique, Strachan suggested. Scotland on Sunday
Rodgers hopes to cash in on Dembele success
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said he was hopeful that the success of Moussa Dembele will attract more young talent to Celtic Park.
Dembele arrived at the club during the summer and has since made an impressive start to his Celtic career, scoring 12 goals in all competitions for the Bhoys so far.
Rodgers told the Daily Mail: ““It really has lit up their eyes to what the possibilities are. He is a great advertisement for what we are trying to do at Celtic and he is enjoying his time here.” (HITC)
Steve Bruce admits talks with Hepburn-Murphy’s parents
Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has admitted that he was been in discussions with star Rushian Hepburn-Murphy’s parents in a bid to ward off the attention of Rangers.
The Daily Mail reported earlier this week that Rangers was eyeing a bid for the 18-year-old, whose contract at Villa Park expires at the end of the season.
Talks over a new deal for the youngster have reached a stalemate but Bruce has said the club will do everything it can to keep Hepburn-Murphy at Aston Villa. (HITC)
Jozo Simunovic: I’m going no where
Centre back Jozo Simunovic has warned Celtic that he is going no where should they try to sell him in the January transfer window.
The Croatian defender was set to move to Torino in the summer having passed his medical but the two clubs ultimately failed to agree a fee.
Simunovic said he is enjoying being back from injury and playing under Brendan Rodgers and is in no hurry to move on, despite interest from Newcastle and Crystal Palace. (Scottish Sun)
Geller to put his mind to helping Scotland
Uri Geller has promised to give Scotland a helping hand against England when they meet at Wembley after he used telepathy to ensure Gary McAllister missed his penalty when the two sides met in the Euro 96 finals.
Geller said he ‘willed’ England’s David Seaman to move one way and moved the ball using “pure telepathy”.
TV footage later showed that the ball rolled from its spot, denying McAllister a clean strike. (Scotland on Sunday)
Warburton ‘devastated’ over Macleod injury
Rangers boss Mark Warburton has admitted he was devastated to see Lewis Macleod suffer another serious injury.
The Scot was signed by Brentford while Warburton was in charge, arriving from Rangers with a groin injury in January 2015. He has been ruled out for the English side until the summer after being stretchered off against QPR last week. He played only one game last season due to a knee injury. (Scottish Sun)
NEWS IN BRIEF:
• Players extending their careers into their 40s could become the norm in football over the next decade, according to Rangers defender Clint Hill. (Mail on Sunday)
• Rangers and former Scotland forward Kenny Miller, 36, will be a TV pundit for Friday’s match but admits he would “love to be out there” on the pitch. (Sunday Mail)