Rumour Mill: Brendan Rodgers makes Scott Sinclair admission | Rangers ace ‘nearly joined Celtic’ | Leigh Griffiths ‘must improve’

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Brendan Rodgers makes admission about Scott Sinclair, which Rangers star was close to joining Celtic and Leigh Griffiths is told he must improve on and off the park

Sinclair still important - Rodgers

Scott Sinclair in action for Celtic against FK Suduva. Picture: SNS Group

Scott Sinclair in action for Celtic against FK Suduva. Picture: SNS Group

Scott Sinclair is still an important player for Celtic, despite his form tailing off, manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted.

The Northern Irishman admitted that a slight change to his tactics had hampered the former Aston Villa man but Sinclair “still has a prominent part to play” for the club.

Rodgers added: “Scott has suffered a wee bit because we have slightly changed the system, the dynamic of how we play. He hasn’t played as much as in the first year. But he is still very important.” (The Sun)

Mols ‘nearly joined Celtic’

Former scout Davie Hay has revealed Rangers striker Michael Mols nearly became a Celtic player before he sealed a move to Ibrox.

Hay told The Sun: “I had travelled to Holland a few times around the period we bought Pierre [van Hooijdonk] because Dutch football was at a very good standard and there were players who could be bought for reasonable fees.

“I was looking at another Dutch striker at the time. His name? Michael Mols who, of course, did eventually come to Glasgow – to sign for Rangers.” (The Sun)

Rodgers in stark warning to Griffiths

Brendan Rodgers has suggested that Leigh Griffiths has to improve every aspect of his game both on and off the pitch, as the Celtic boss hailed Steven Naismith’s performance for Scotland at the expense of the Hoops forward.

Rodgers said: “I was at the Albania game and I thought Steven was excellent. He worked his socks off and got two goals. Leigh knows his qualities but he has to work tirelessly at all aspects of his game.

“You shouldn’t think that at 28, you’re a senior professional and you stop learning.” (The Scotsman)

Double Dundee boost for Hibs

Hibs are set to be bolstered by the return of Paul Hanlon and Marvin Bartley for Saturday’s Premiership match away to Dundee as their early-season injury problems continue to dissipate.

Hanlon missed last weekend’s 3-2 win over Kilmarnock with a minor hamstring problem and Bartley, who has missed the last four games since suffering a hamstring injury of his own, could join him in the travelling squad. (Evening News)

Boyle set for Australia call-up

Hibs winger Martin Boyle is in the frame for a call-up to the Australia national team and could join a Socceroos training camp in Dubai next month.

Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold is understood to have visited East Mains recently, where he held talks with Hibs boss Neil Lennon, and discussed Boyle’s eligibility with the player, with the wideman open to declaring for Australia. (Evening News)

Southgate eyes Cairney

Gareth Southgate is keen to cap Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney for England.

The 27-year-old has played twice for the Scots in friendly matches, but SFA bosses are thought to privately be frustrated after the midfielder pulled out of squads due to injury.

Cairney, who has also turned out for Scotland’s Under-19s and Under-21s, is aware of England’s interest but will almost certainly be called up for next month’s Nations League clash with Israel. (The Sun)