In today’s Rumour Mill: Neil Lennon has hit out at Australia coach Graham Arnold as he faces losing three of his players to international duty; Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on Callum McGregor, saying the Hoops star would thrive in England; Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister insists Alfredo Morelos will remain at Ibrox beyond the January transfer window.
Hibs boss Neil Lennon hits out at Australia coach in derby player row
Hibernian manager Neil Lennon says the Football Federation of Australia would “open up a whole can of worms” if they were to allow Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic to face Rangers at Ibrox a week today but deny his own Socceroos the opportunity to face Hearts in the capital derby later the same day.
When he met Socceroos coach Graham Arnold on his recent trip to Scotland, Lennon was given the impression that he would be able to retain the services of at least a couple of his trio for the capital clash.
Lennon said: “We were of the opinion that we would be able to negotiate one or two players and not lose all three, so the goalposts have moved a little bit.
Hibs star Martin Boyle disappointed to be missing Edinburgh derby
Hibs star Martin Boyle has spoken of his disappointment at missing the Edinburgh derby but insists he can’t pass up the chance to be involved with Australia on international duty.
The winger’s wildest dreams came true on Thursday when Socceroos boss Graham Arnold named him in his Australia squad.
However, the call up means he will now miss the festive derby against Hearts at Easter Road next week.
He said: “It’s obviously disappointing because it’s a massive game. Nobody wants to miss the New Year derby.
“But at the end of the day, it’s a sacrifice that has to be made.”
Rodgers: Callum McGregor can operate at English Premier League level
Brendan Rodgers has heaped praised on Callum McGregor, saying he has no doubt the 25-year-old would thrive in the English Premier League.
The Celtic boss responded as it was revealed that Bournemouth had been sniffing around the star whose new contract ties him to Parkhead until 2023.
Speaking about the contract extension, Rodgers said: “Callum can operate at English Premier League level. He’s shown it against the best teams in Europe so there’s no question he’s of that ilk.
“It’s a great signing for the club.”
Gary McAllister confident Morelos will stay at Ibrox
Gary McAllister has said he is confident that Colombian ace Alfredo Morelos will remain at Rangers beyond the January transfer window.
The Gers assistant boss said: “There will probably be interest in Morelos. But if we’re sat where we are in the table when we come to the end of the month, selling him can’t be a consideration.
“The manager has said he will fall out with people if Morelos is sold. It’s the same feeling here. He is a key player for this group.”
Leigh Griffiths hits back at critics with social media post
Leigh Griffiths has hit back at online critics with a strongly-worded post on his Instagram page.
The Celtic striker posted a meme which read: “Never kick me when I’m down because when I get back up... you’re f****d.”
Griffiths is taking a break from football to deal with “ongoing issues” away from the pitch.
McInnes: Lowe-style left-back a priority for Dons
Derek McInnes has said recruiting a left-back will be the priority for Aberdeen after loan star Max Lowe was recalled to Derby County.
Lowe, 21, impressed at left back after joining on loan at the start of the season but has now been recalled by manager Frank Lampard.
Now McInnes has said the signing of a similar type of player for the position is high on his priorities list.
“Max is going back unfortunately. It’s a blow, but to be fair, it’s something I expected over the last few weeks,” said McInnes.
“We’ve got other options in the club who can play left back but what I think we’ve seen from Max is the benefit of having that raiding left-back in certain games.”