Rumour Mill: ‘Staggering disparity’ between Old Firm budgets | Rangers target starts United trial | Ajer to go on loan

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Mark Warburton believes there to be ‘staggering disparity’ in budgets between Celtic and Rangers, Rangers target Matthew Knox has been invited by Manchester United for a third trial, and Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer is set to go on loan to an English Championship side in January.

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Celtic and Rangers will meet in the league for the second time this season at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon. Picture: John Devlin

Celtic and Rangers will meet in the league for the second time this season at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon. Picture: John Devlin

Budget disparity

Mark Warburton insists second place and a return to European football would be a successful season for Rangers because of the ‘staggering disparity’ between Old Firm budgets.

Warburton reckons there is such a huge financial gulf that Rangers cannot compete with Celtic in that regard. However, the Ibrox boss wants to see improvement in his side so they can get closer to their rivals on the park. (Daily Mail)

Knox on Man United trial

Matthew Knox has been invited by Manchester United for a third trial with the English giants.

The young Livingston attacker has previously spent time training with Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham and is a highly sought after young prospect.

Rangers are another club monitoring the 17-year-old’s progress and previously had a £75,000 offer rejected. (Daily Record)

Ajer to go on loan

Celtic kid Kristoffer Ajer is set to go on loan in January in order to gain experience of first-team football.

The 18-year-old has featured just once since joining in the summer, though he insists Brendan Rodgers has made it clear he remains part of the manager’s long-term plans.

Ajer reckons he’ll be sent on loan to a team in the English Championship. (Scottish Sun)

Dembele and Griffiths to both feature

Brendan Rodgers insists both Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths will have their part to play in Saturday’s Old Firm derby.

The pair have been vying for the starting spot in Rodgers’ preferred one-man-up-front approach for most of the season. Griffiths has been in better form recently, while Dembele has netted four goals in two games against Rangers.

The Celtic boss stressed there is no drama and whether starting or on the bench, each player will get their chance. (Daily Record)

Mark Warburton: I never said ‘Going for 55’

Mark Warburton insists he never said his Rangers side would be ‘Going for 55’ at the beginning of this season.

The Rangers boss believes suggestions to the contrary have been greatly exaggerated as his message all along was to have the club “competitive” back in the top flight.

The ‘Going for 55’ hashtag, referring to league titles and used by the club on their official Twitter feed, was discontinued a couple of months ago. (Daily Record)

• Warburton has rejected talk that Rangers are in the shadow of Celtic, saying they are “the most successful club in the world”. (The Scotsman)

McInnes expects good news for Aberdeen fans

Derek McInnes says “good news” will be coming in the direction of Aberdeen fans soon enough as the club look to get their January transfer business sorted early.

In addition to bringing in at least one new player, McInnes is looking to tie up a couple of the current first-team stars with expiring deals to new contracts. (Press and Journal)

Foran disappointed by Fulham

Inverness CT boss Richie Foran has been disappointed by the lack of communication with Fulham over the future of Larnell Cole.

The 23-year-old is on loan in the Highland capital until the beginning of January. Foran is keen to get the attacking midfielder’s deal extended until the end of the season, but has yet to receive word from the London club if this can be arranged. (Press and Journal)

Hibs take Tommy Robson on trial

Hibs assistant boss Garry Parker today confirmed the Easter Road club have taken 21-year-old Sunderland player Tommy Robson on trial.

The left-back has caught the eye captaining the Black Cats’ Under-23 side this season with a number of clubs in England and Scotland keeping close tabs on his progress. (The Scotsman)

Scott Brown enjoyed Rangers’ absence

Scott Brown has mocked Rangers ahead of the Hogmanay Glasgow derby by expressing ambivalence over the return of top-flight football to Ibrox.

The Celtic captain will tomorrow travel to the Govan ground on club duty for the first time since the liquidation of Rangers in 2012. But he would offer only a “yes and no” when asked if he had missed this fixture during the four years a reconstituted Rangers spent working their way through the senior divisions. (The Scotsman)

Dundee swoop for Bulgarian striker

Paul Hartley is looking to make a second bid for Bulgarian striker Ventsislav Hristov in a bid to add more firepower to Dundee’s attack.

The 28-year-old is under contract at Neftochimic Burgas and has already knocked back one offer from the Dens Park club. (The Sun)

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