Rumour Mill: Whyte never cleared Rangers debt | Celtic told to up Hayes offer | Regan defends SFA over Rangers licence

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Craig Whyte pocketed £18million the day he took over Rangers, Aberdeen have told Celtic to increase their offer for Jonny Hayes, and Stewart Regan has defended the SFA’s decision to grant Rangers a Uefa licence.

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Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte leaves the High Court in Glasgow after being found not guilty. Picture: John Devlin

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte leaves the High Court in Glasgow after being found not guilty. Picture: John Devlin

Whyte never cleared Rangers debt

Craig Whyte had £18million arrive on his personal balance sheet the day he bought Rangers, a document has revealed. Instead of paying off the debt with cash raised from Ticketus for future season-ticket sales, which was presumed at the time, the former owner instead transferred it from Lloyds Bank to his own company, and began immediately charging interest on the debt. (Daily Record)

Celtic told to up offer

Celtic have been told to up their offer for Jonny Hayes after Cardiff City matched the £1.2million offer for the 29-year-old. Aberdeen are resigned to losing the player this summer, though they would prefer to not sell to a Ladbrokes Premiership rival. Brendan Rodgers is looking to make the winger his first summer signing. (Press and Journal)

• Ryan Christie has agreed to go on loan to Aberdeen for the 2017/18 season as part of the offer to bring Jonny Hayes to Parkhead. (Press and Journal)

Regan defends SFA over Rangers licence

Stewart Regan insists the SFA body did not act inappropriately when they granted Rangers a licence to play in Europe despite a £2.8million tax bill hanging over the Ibrox club. Though they were aware of the debt, it was not officially declared to the governing body. The SFA chief claims the licensing committee followed the procedures correctly and that they’ve had their actions back by Uefa. (Daily Record)

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Santos president confirms Abella interest

Santos Laguna president Alejandro Irarragorri has confirmed Rangers are in talks to sign Mexican right back Javier Abella. Pedro Caixinha is keen to bring his former player to Ibrox to provide competition with James Tavernier. The 23-year-old would represent the third impending signing coming in from the Mexican market, with Carlos Pena and Eduardo Herrera both having agreed terms. (ESPN)

Lennon hails season-ticket sales

Neil Lennon has described Hibs’ soaring season-ticket sales as “amazing” and insists they can only help him as he seeks to strengthen his squad for the Easter Road club’s return to the Premiership. Although the new league season is still almost two months away, sales are already touching 11,500 and set to reach record levels in the coming weeks. (Evening News)

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Dalcio wants to win trophies

New Rangers signing Dalcio wants to knock Celtic off their perch and bring trophies back to Ibrox. The midfielder agreed a season-long loan from Benfica on Wednesday and immediately set his sights on getting the club back to the top “where it belongs”. (Daily Record)

READ MORE - Four things Rangers fans should know about Dalcio

Scotland must start Fletcher

A place must be found for Darren Fletcher in the Scotland side to face England on Saturday, according to Joe Jordan. The 55-times capped striker believes performing under pressure will be crucial if Gordon Strachan’s side are to pull off an upset at Hampden this weekend. And the pedigree of Fletcher makes him a must for the latest iteration of a famous fixture in the mind of Jordan. (The Scotsman)

Butcher: Garner isn’t the answer for Ipswich

Terry Butcher has told Ipswich Town fans not to get “excited” about the prospect of their side signing Rangers striker Joe Garner. The Portman Road side have been linked with a £500,000 move for the player, but the former Rangers captain believes Ipswich should be aiming higher as they look to strengthen their side for next season. (Green ‘Un 24)

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