Rumour Mill: Barton backs Cathro | Celtic fans ‘letting club down’ | Rangers to sign Villa forward

Ex-Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has defended the new Hearts boss. Picture: Getty
Ex-Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has defended the new Hearts boss. Picture: Getty
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Joey Barton disagrees with Kris Boyd’s scepticism over Hearts’ decision to hire Ian Cathro, a former Celtic player has accused the fans of letting the club down, and an Aston Villa youngster is poised to quit Villa Park in order to join Rangers.

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Barton backs Cathro

Joey Barton has disagreed with Kris Boyd’s assessment of new Hearts head coach Ian Cathro, as the pair argued on BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday evening.

Barton asked Boyd if he’d have written the article slamming Cathro if it were Steven Gerrard taking over at Hearts.

After Boyd answered no, Barton argued that the days of ex-players always being the best candidate for a manager’s job are over. (BBC)

Celtic fans ‘letting down club’

Ex-Celtic defender Mark Wilson believes the club’s fans are “letting the club down” through their actions when the Parkhead side play away from home in Europe.

14 fans were held by Manchester police following disturbances across two days as Celtic finished their Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw. (BBC)

Rangers want Hepburn-Murphy

Young Aston Villa striker Rushian Hepburn-Murphy is set to quit Villa Park in order to sign with Rangers.

The 18-year-old is on Mark Warburton’s wish list and could be signed on a pre-contract in January. The move would cost Rangers only £220,000 in compensation. (Daily Record)

Goncalves key to Hearts duo

Esmael Goncalves is best-known among Jambos as the man who played a big part in breaking their hearts in the 2013 League Cup final. However, in light of this week’s events, the Portuguese striker can be thought of in a more positive context around Tynecastle as it was he who effectively brought together the exciting new management team in Gorgie.

Austin MacPhee, then assistant at St Mirren, contacted Ian Cathro when the now Hearts head coach was at Rio Ave looking for a player. Goncalves was the talent he recommended, and the two stayed in communication as Cathro instructed MacPhee on how best to handle the party-mad striker. (Evening News)

Dembele going nowhere in January

Brendan Rodgers insists Moussa Dembele will be going nowhere in the January transfer window despite intense interest from several clubs around Europe.

The Celtic manager is looking to hold on to the player for a couple of years in order to complete his development. (Various)

Barton ‘no regrets’ over Rangers switch

Joey Barton insists he has no regrets over his move to Rangers and no bad feelings towards anyone at the club.

The 34-year-old ended his brief and ill-fated spell at Ibrox in November after being ostracised for two months.

The midfielder was suspended following a training-ground row in the wake of a 5-1 defeat at Celtic Park but he says he has no bitterness over the way his high-profile summer move to Glasgow worked out. (The Scotsman)

GMS next to get Rodgers treatment

Brendan Rodgers has acclaimed Gary Mackay-Steven as “a fantastic talent” and believes the winger can emerge from the wilderness to become an integral part of his plans at Celtic.

Mackay-Steven made his first appearance under Rodgers as an early second half substitute for the injured James Forrest in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium.

As Celtic wait on the results of a scan on the damaged hamstring sustained by Forrest, Mackay-Steven is likely to be rewarded for his eye-catching display against City with a place in the starting line-up in tomorrow night’s Premiership fixture at Partick Thistle. (The Scotsman)

Celtic to net at least £30m

They may not have made it past the group stage, but Celtic’s return to the Champions League is likely to have netted the club £27.5 million in revenues before gate receipts are included.

Celtic earned £26m from UEFA for reaching the group stage and netted another £1.28m from earning three draws in their six games. (The Scotsman)

Blow for David Raven

Inverness CT right-back David Raven is facing another eight weeks out of action after damaging his medial ligament.

Raven picked up the injury after colliding with team-mate Josh Meekings at training. He was only just returning to action following a spell on the sidelines with a concussion. (Inverness Courier)

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