The Rumour Mill: Friday’s Scottish football news and gossip

John McGlynn: Confirmed Hearts will contest extension
John McGlynn: Confirmed Hearts will contest extension
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In today’s Rumour Mill: Hearts contest transfer ban extensions; Celtic gear up for Juventus clash; Aberdeen blame injuries on lack of facilities as new training centre plans announced plus the rest of the day’s football news and rumours.

Hearts will challenge extension of transfer ban

John McGlynn has confirmed that Hearts will contest the extension of their ban on signing players. The Tynecastle club, who had alteady been banned from resgistering new players after late payment of wages, were expecting the embargo to be lifted.

However, the SPL have claimed that the club have neglected to pay a number of bonuses and appearance fees.

John McGlynn said: “It’s difficult to talk about it because we’re going through lawyers.”

The club’s expected defence is that there is no fixed date for when players’ bonuses have to be paid, and McGlynn has confirmed that bonuses at his previous club, Raith Rovers, were paid out at the end of the season.

Celtic hopeful Champions League glamour tie can convince stars to stay

Celtic are hopeful that the lure of a showdown with Italian giants Juventus could convince sought-after players Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama to renew contracts and stay at the Parkhead club.

Hooper has attracted interest from Juventus themselves, as well as from down south, including long-time admirers Southampton, along with goal-shy English Premier League clubs Liverpool and Newcastle. Kenyan international Wanyama, who is reportedly the subject of interest from Manchester United, has three years left on his current deal, whilst Hooper is into the last 18 months of his contract.

Chief executive Peter Lawwell is hopeful that the meeting with the Turin side in the last 16 of the Champions League might convince the pair to stay.

“From my point of view, a game with Juventus has got to be quite powerful.

“We’d love to see them at Celtic come the game in February. At the moment, we are still talking to them. These things can take time.

Aberdeen injuries blamed on poor facilities as goalkeeper crisis adds to worries

Aberdeen’s lengthy injury list is down to a lack of adequate facilities, according to manager Craig Brown. THe Dons have had to use a variety of training venues and former Scotland boss Brown is convinced that the lack of modern training facilities is taking its toll on his team.

The Pittodrie side are without several players for tomorrow’s match with St Johnstone and could be force to call on rookie keeper Danny Rogers. Jamie Langfield failed to have a red card overturned yesterday, and Jason Brown faces a late fitness test, with the 18-year-old Rogers preparing to be thrown in at the deep end tomorrow.

Meanwhile, vice-chairman George Yule has promised the club a new training complex, which could be in place in the next two years.

Ross County release four players

Derek Adams has moved four players on from Ross County after the quartet agreed to cancel their contracts. Ex-Hibs striker Kurtis Byrne, Russell Duncan, Joe Malin and Jon Bateson have all agreed to leave the Dingwall side whilst Adams is trying to strike a deal with Partick Thistle for striker Steven Craig, who is on loan at the Jags. If an agreement can be made, Craig will also depart the Highland club.

Deegan return a possibility as Fenlon looks for reaction

Hibs midfielder Gary Deegan could be in line for a place in the starting XI tomorow after making a comeback in last week’s 3-2 home defeat to Motherwell. Captain James McPake misses out through suspension, but there could be further changes to the starting lineup with Pat Fenlon vowing to ring the changes after last week’s collapse.