Rumour Mill: Rangers eye Sporting CP midfielder | Celtic face losing key man to Euro foes | Top Scots ref retires

Steven Gerrard has been linked with a host of young stars as he looks to bolster his squad
Steven Gerrard has been linked with a host of young stars as he looks to bolster his squad
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The latest Scottish football news, transfer rumours and gossip...

Rangers primed for Balde move

Rangers are set to sign Sporting CP kid Umaro Balde on a two-year deal after the 16-year-old impressed on trial.

The midfielder - who won't cost the Light Blues any money - will join the Gers youth ranks following a Reserve League title, Under-18 League and Youth Cup double and victory in the Qatar-based Al Kass Cup.

The Scotsman understands Rangers are also keeping tabs on Tottenham Hotspur startlet Albert Rachi while Kilmarnock youngster Liam Smith remains a target. (Evening Times)

Malmo move for Lustig

Malmo have blown Allsvenskan rivals AIK out of the water with a lucrative package for Celtic's Swedish defender Mikael Lustig.

Rikard Norling's side have been linked with Lustig for quite some time but the 75-cap international is also on Malmo's radar and Di blåe have offered Lustig a deal that would make him Sweden's best-paid player.

The 32-year-old could yet extend his stay at Celtic for another 12 months but if the right-back fancies returning to his homeland he has no shortage of options. (The Sun)

Thomson hangs up whistle

Top Scots whistler Craig Thomson has brought the curtain down on a 31-year refereeing career, with nearly 20 years spent at the highest level.

Thomson, who was selected for the Euro 2012 tournament, was the man in the middle for three Scottish Cup finals and four League Cup finals.

His last match was Celtic's 2-1 win over Hearts on the final day of the 2018/19 campaign. (Various)

Benitez back in front in Celtic manager race

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has jumped from fourth to favourite in the race to succeed Brendan Rodgers as Celtic boss.

The Spaniard had fallen down the pecking order amid ongoing contract talks with the Magpies and although reports in Italy suggested a new deal was agreed, there has been nothing official from the St James' Park side.

Despite the Northern Echo claiming Benitez and the club are "satisfied" with negotiations so far, the ex-Liverpool and Chelsea boss's odds shortened from 7/1 to 2/1 over a 24-hour period. (Various)

Clarke gets his man

Steve Clarke has successfully convinced his Kilmarnock right-hand man Alex Dyer to take up the Scotland assistant manager role on a part-time basis.

The agreement sees the former Blackpool, Hull and Notts County defender maintain his role at Rugby Park while assisting Clarke during international breaks. (Daily Mail print edition)