Rumour Mill: Leon Osman to Hibs? | Hearts cool Aymen Belaid talk | Souttar told to reject Celtic

Alan Stubbs is said to be plotting an audacious attempt to tempt his former team-mate to Easter Road, Hearts have distanced themselves from rumours they are about to sign Aymen Belaid, and John Souttar has been told to reject advances from Celtic by his manager.

It is understood that Hibs are attempting to sign the experienced Everton midfielder. Picture: PA
It is understood that Hibs are attempting to sign the experienced Everton midfielder. Picture: PA

Hibernian linked with Everton’s Leon Osman

ALAN Stubbs has stated that he plans to “pull a rabbit out of the hat” with regards to signing a player in the January transfer window, and rumours are that the mystery player is none other than his old team-mate from Everton Leon Osman.

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It is understood the 34-year-old, who has made two appearances for the Toffees this season, would join as a player-coach as he looks to make the next step in his career.

It would be a major coup for the Ladbrokes Championship club, with the midfielder having played for England as recently as two years ago. (The Scotsman)

Hearts distance themselves from Aymen Belaid deal

TALK that Tunisian midfielder Aymen Belaid will be joining Hearts appear to be wide of the mark, The Scotsman understands.

The player’s manager revealed the 26-year-old was in talks with a Scottish club as his contract is due to expire next summer.

However, it now seems the Levski Sofia player’s destination will not be Tynecastle. (The Scotsman)

Mixu Paatelainen tells John Souttar to reject Celtic

DUNDEE United manager Mixu Paatelainen has urged young midfielder John Souttar to reject the advances of Celtic and sign a new deal at Tannadice.

The 19-year-old can discuss a pre-contract agreement in January, though any club signing him would have to pay United a development fee.

It is thought this will not put off the Scottish champions, who have long been admirers of the player. (The Sun)

Hibs sign striker Chris Dagnall

HIBERNIAN have signed English striker Chris Dagnall until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.

Dagnall, 29, is currently playing in the Indian Super League with Kerala Blasters. He was previously with Tranmere Rovers, Rochdale, Scunthorpe Barnsley and Leyton Orient.

Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs told the club’s website: “Chris is a player with a great track record and he has played for a number of clubs, bringing with him a great deal of experience and guile to the team. (The Scotsman)

Hibernian were prepared to let Scott Allan rot in the stand

ALAN Stubbs has revealed he was prepared to leave Scott Allan kicking his heels in the stand for the entire season rather than sell the midfielder to Rangers.

The Hibs manager admitted this would have represented “the worst possible scenario”. However, Stubbs insisted anything was better than strengthening rivals Rangers at the start of such a pivotal campaign, even losing money on the player and paying him to sit out the season.

What the manager referred to as the “Scott Allan situation” threatened to de-rail Hibs’ season when it had barely started as the midfielder agitated to be allowed to move to Rangers, the club he supported. (The Scotsman)

Derek Riordan blames Gordon Strachan for Celtic failure

DEREK Riordan has blamed Scotland boss Gordon Strachan for the striker’s disappointing spell at Celtic in the mid-00s.

The player left boyhood heroes Hibernian to join Strachan’s squad at Celtic Park in 2006. He won three trophies including two Scottish Premier League titles across his two seasons in Glasgow, though he was restricted to only 31 appearances in that time.

Celtic fans would often clamour for Riordan to be given more game time, particularly during his first season where he netted a respectable seven goals in 21 appearances, but Strachan would often resist the temptation to play him. (The Scotsman)

Neil Lennon ‘very sorry’ after Bolton investigation

BOLTON assistant manager Steve Walford said Neil Lennon is “very sorry” after Wanderers cleared him to stay on as manager following an internal investigation.

The Sky Bet Championship club announced on Tuesday that the Northern Irishman would remain in his post after they looked into allegations made about Lennon’s private life in a Sunday newspaper.

Walford faced the media on Wednesday and revealed Lennon had addressed the matter with his squad and was hoping to move on from it ahead of the bottom-of-the-table clash with Rotherham on Boxing Day. (The Scotsman)

Celtic recall Ryan Christie from Inverness loan

CELTIC have recalled Ryan Christie from his loan period with Inverness.

The attacking midfielder signed for the Parkhead side from Caley Thistle in August on a four-year deal but was loaned back to John Hughes’ team.

But Celtic have now decided to end the season-long loan deal early and he will join up with the champions in January. (The Scotsman)