Rumour Mill: Rangers ‘are catching Celtic’ | Celtic hold talks with three stars | Hearts ace confident of new deal

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Saturday’s Scottish football news and gossip.

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Picture: SNS

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Picture: SNS

Rangers are catching Celtic

Steven Gerrard knows a defeat against Celtic, which would leave his team 13 points behind their Old Firm rivals, would prompt fresh and intense scrutiny of his performance as Rangers manager, but insists he has dragged the Ibrox club closer to the champions regardless of how big the gap is between them. (The Scotsman)

Celtic hold talks with three stars

Neil Lennon has confirmed Celtic are holding contract talks with three Parkhead stalwarts. Speaking to the media, Lennon said: “Discussions are still ongoing at the minute. [Mikael Lustig] and a few others are speaking as well, like Scott Sinclair and Nir Bitton as well, that’s ongoing at the minute.” (The Scotsman)

Lennon: My future won’t hinge on Rangers results

Neil Lennon insists his future as Celtic manager won’t hinge on his results against Rangers. “I’m not convinced by that,” he claimed. “I don’t think my future is based on the result of one game or two games against Rangers. It’ll be the whole package over the three months I’ll have been in charge.” (The Scotsman)

- Chris Sutton believes Steven Gerrard’s future as Rangers manager hinges on his side avoiding a comfortable defeat at Celtic Park. (Daily Record)

- Andy Walker insists Neil Lennon ticks all the right boxes for the Celtic board because he is the “cheap” option. (Scottish Sun)

Lennon concerned about Tierney

Celtic’s interim manager, Neil Lennon, has expressed his concern about the health of left-back Kieran Tierney, who looks likely to miss tomorrow’s meeting with Rangers. The 21-year-old suffered a recurrence of a calf injury while he’s also been struggling with a hip problem. (The Scotsman)

Hearts star close to new deal

Peter Haring is close to extending his Hearts contract having become a cornerstone of the club’s midfield. The towering Austrian explained that he wants to remain part of the long-term project taking place at Tynecastle Park because he feels at home there and senses something special being built. (Evening News)

Heck hails side for digging deep

Paul Heckingbottom praised Hibs for grinding down Livingston as they climbed up to fifth in the Premiership with a hard fought 2-1 win at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Goals from Paul Hanlon and Stevie Mallan in the last 20 minutes earned the on-form Easter Road side a fifth victory in six league matches. (Evening News)

Tait blasts Strachan

Richard Tait has hit out at former national team boss Gordon Strachan for saying there are no talented Scottish young players coming through. The Motherwell full-back pointed to the development of team-mates Jake Hastie, David Turnbull and Allan Campbell over the past two seasons as evidence to the contrary. (Daily Record)