Rumour Mill: Aston Villa to seek Rodgers permission | Gerrard warns clubs over Tavernier move | Celtic to trim squad

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Aston Villa will approach Celtic for permission to talk to Brendan Rodgers, Steven Gerrard has warned clubs it will take “a lot of money” to get James Tavernier and Celtic plan to offload players in January.

• READ MORE: St Johnstone 0-6 Celtic: James Forrest fires Hoops to emphatic win

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been linked with a move to Aston Villa. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been linked with a move to Aston Villa. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy

Aston Villa to approach Celtic for Rodgers

Aston Villa will make their move for Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers by asking for the club’s permission to open talks. The Northern Irishman is one of six candidates on the Championship club’s shortlist following the sacking of Steve Bruce. Villa, who have also set their sights on Thierry Henry and Eddie Howe, hope Rodgers will travel south this week for talks. (Daily Record)

Rodgers’ mixed messages over Villa link

Brendan Rodgers appeared to send out mixed messages after he was linked with the manager’s position at Aston Villa. The Celtic boss spoke positively about Villa, while saying he was happy at Celtic.

It’s a huge club, it’s a Premier League club, great facilities. I said it before when young John McGinn was going. Brilliant support base, good history. “But I’m sure they will know who they want to go in there. I’ve got a great job here, a very exciting challenge this season. You can’t rule me out because I’ve never been asked but for me it’s one where I’m really happy here.” (The Scotsman)

Gerrard’s Tavernier warning

Steven Gerrard has warned any clubs looking to buy James Tavernier that they better have an “awful lot of money”. The Rangers captain has reportedly been watched by Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion. (The Scotsman)

• READ MORE: Rangers 3-1 Hearts: Ruthless Gers fire warning after seeing off league leaders

Rodgers to trim Celtic squad

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has admitted his squad is too big. The club plan to offload fringe players in the January transfer window. The Northern Irishman noted the squad is “bloated” and “way too big”. (BT Sport)

Hibs record positive financial results

Hibs’ latest financial figures which show the Edinburgh outfit back in the black. Three seasons in the Championship took a toll on Hibs’ finances, the accounts this time last year showing a loss of £277,000. However, the club revealed they had made a pre-tax profit of £200,000 for the year ended June 30. (Edinburgh Evening News)

Title race ‘blown wide open’ says Gerrard

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard praised his players for “going to war” with league leaders Hearts at Ibrox and claiming a 3-1 victory he believes has blown the Premiership title race wide open. Only five points now cover the top half of the table and Gerrard savoured an important result for his team who had lost 1-0 at 
Livingston the previous weekend.

“It was certainly a statement and has blown the title race wide open and made it a little bit better looking for us,” he said. (The Scotsman)

• READ MORE: Comment: Rangers’ unbeaten run is great but also shows Scotland’s fall

United to open Neilson talks

Dundee United will make a move for Robbie Neilson to replace the departed Csaba Laszlo. The United hierarchy were prepared to give caretaker Laurie Ellis time to stake his claim for the job but following Alan Archibald’s exit from Partick Thistle and Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Ayr United the club plan to open talks with the former Hearts boss. (Various)

Jones could face diving ban

Kilmarnock star Jordan Jones could face a two-game ban for diving. The SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte is to study footage of the incident which led to Killie’s first penalty in their 2-1 win at Dundee. Eamonn Brophy converted to ultimately earn Killie three points and left Dundee boss Neil McCann irate. (The Sun)

• READ MORE: Why Celtic’s Scott Brown needs more rest to be at his best

Hibs are contenders

Veteran Hamilton defender Matthew Kilgallon insisted Hibs must be considered genuine title contenders after his team’s 6-0 thrashing by the Easter Road side. Neil Lennon’s men won for the fourth consecutive game, closing the gap to league leaders Hearts to two points. Kilgallon reckons Hibs would do well in the English Championship. (Edinburgh Evening News)

Hearts shot themselves in the foot

Hearts boss Craig Levein bemoaned his team gifting Rangers two early goals but felt they matched their hosts thereafter – despite spending the final 35 minutes with ten men after Michael Smith’s red card. Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos netted in the opening 13 minutes of Rangers’ 3-1 with Levein saying they “shot themselves in the foot”. (Edinburgh Evening News)

• READ MORE: Aidan Smith: Hearts and Celtic could be a much-needed cup classic