Rumour Mill: Celtic target ‘rejects approach’ | Rangers loan star keen to stay | Aberdeen eye Motherwell ace

The latest Scottish football news, gossip and transfer rumours...

Not interested: Alex Neil rejects Celtic

Alex Neil has dealt Celtic a blow by ruling himself out of the running as the Hoops search for a new permanent manager.

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The Preston boss has taken his side to the brink of the play-offs after an impressive 12-match unbeaten run.

A general view of Celtic fans. Picture: SNS Group
A general view of Celtic fans. Picture: SNS Group

But he said: “I have got no intention of going anywhere else. There have been no discussions with any other club. My sole focus is on Preston and we are making plans for next season.” (LEP)

Defoe: I’m staying to do something special

Rangers loan striker Jermain Defoe has told Bournemouth to forget about recalling him in the summer or next January as he insists he’s targeting “something special” at Ibrox.

The veteran hitman, who has scored six goals in seven starts, said: “I want a full season to try to achieve something special here. Bournemouth can call me back in the summer and again in January, but I am focused on being here and scoring goals for Rangers. “I want to help the team, it’s as simple as that. There have been ups and downs, but that’s football. However, I believe next season we can really kick on and achieve something.” (The Scotsman)

Cardoso linked with Benfica switch

Former Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso has been linked with a move to Portuguese giants Benfica.

The 24-year-old, who struggled to set the heather alight during his time at Ibrox, has impressed while playing for Santa Clara in Portugal’s top flight. And now the Lisbon side could look to bring Cardoso back to the club where he began his career. (Correio da Manha)

Dons want Main

Aberdeen could make a move for Motherwell forward Curtis Main in the summer - if the striker decides his future lies in Scotland.

Derek McInnes tried to strike a deal for the striker in January but Main wanted to keep his options open until this summer.

But the former Middlesbrough and Doncaster star could look to return south of the Border when his Motherwell contract is up. (The Sun)

Celtic and Rangers to contest SFA charges

Celtic and Rangers have both expressed their determination to contest Scottish FA disciplinary proceedings instigated against them for the unsavoury scenes at the end of last Sunday’s Old Firm game.

Scottish FA compliance officer Clare Whyte also issued individual notices of complaint against Celtic captain Scott Brown and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard as she sifted through the fall-out from the highly charged Premiership fixture. Gerrard has accepted the fixed offer of a one-match touchline ban for comments he made towards referee Bobby Madden following the match. (The Scotsman)

Levein issues Van plea

David Vanecek must resurrect his Hearts career this summer by reporting for pre-season training fully fit and ready to show his true potential. The Czech striker, a January signing from FK Teplice, has failed to make any impression in Edinburgh but coaches are not yet ready to give up on him. “I think he needs a fresh start. I think he needs to get away for the summer, make sure he works hard and comes back in good shape and then he will be able to compete with the rest of the players. “He has hasn’t done particularly well from the opportunities he’s had. He is doing better in training but I don’t feel he’s at the level he needs to be at yet,” said Craig Levein. (Evening News)

Smith tipped for derby return

Michael Smith could make his long-awaited return to action as Hearts host rivals Hibs on Saturday.

The versatile Northern Irishman has been out with a thigh problem since the 4-0 win over Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup.

But he could be fit to face the Hibees in the third derby of the season. (Deadline)