Rumour Mill: Guidetti | Whelan | Gilmour

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Ally McCoist blasts Celtic’s John Guidetti after ‘going down’ jibe; Wigan owner Dave Whelan warns Rangers to be weary of Mike Ashley’s motives; St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour close to selling off the Saints.

McCoist hits back at Hoops star’s Rangers jibe

Celtic's John Guidetti celebrates his hat-trick against Partick Thistle. Picture: SNS

Celtic's John Guidetti celebrates his hat-trick against Partick Thistle. Picture: SNS

Ibrox boss Ally McCoist has responded to Celtic star John Guidetti following his comments that Rangers would be going down if the two teams meet in the League Cup.

Guidetti made the dig after chalking up a hat-trick in Celtic’s comfortable mid-week win against a 10-man Partick Thistle, reportedly saying: “Come Hampden, the 11 people standing opposite us are going down.” McCoist, hitting back last night following the Swede’s jibe, said: “With the greatest respect to John, I remember getting excited about my first hat-trick - but against 11 men”. McCoist went on to say: “He’s entitled to his opinion and that’s the way it is. But maybe, just maybe, he’s got caught up in the excitement of scoring his first hat-trick for Celtic - which, of course, we congratulate him on.”

The storm comes amid growing anticipation for the first Old Firm tie since 2012.

McCoist also took issue with Celtic counterpart Ronny Deila who has said that the Ibrox side are the weakest of the three other remaining teams in the competition. (Various)

Wigan boss in warning to Rangers about Ashley bailout

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan last night issued a warning to Ibrox fans over businessman Mike Ashley’s motives to buy the Old Firm club. Whelan said: “If I was a Rangers fan and a stranger from England came in to buy my club, I’d be worried.”

Sports Direct owner Ashley, who bought JJB Sports from Whelan, has had spats with the Wigan boss in the past when Whelan poured scorn over Ashley’s failure to lure manager Steve Bruce to Newcastle.

Whelan has called into question Ashley’s motives, claiming that he “isn’t a real football man”, stating: “I was surprised when I saw he had an interest in Rangers. It’s not football, so could it be commercial?”

The latest comments come amid an emerging power struggle with the Rangers Supporters Trust after Ibrox chiefs accepted Ashley’s £2million bailout.

Whelan added: “I think fans want their club to be owned by a fan, like me at Wigan. Every fan wants that kind of owner but he hasn’t been like that at Newcastle and their fans are dedicated, like Rangers.” (Express)

Saints close to a sale after five years

Buddies chairman Stewart Gilmour is in advanced talks in the sale of St Mirren. Businessmen from the Netherlands and Kuwait are reported to be in contention, having attended negociations with the Saints board of directors.

It is expected a deal will be finalised as early as next week. Gilmour has unsuccessfully tried to sell the club for the last five years with several deals, including a community-led buyout and a bid by ex-Cowdenbeath chairman Jim Methven to buy the majority shareholding, collapsing.

With St Mirren in the relegation zone following a rocky start to their SPL campaign, Gilmour hopes that the consortium would bring much needed investment to improve the squad. (Sun)

News in brief:

•Real Madrid are preparing a £20million bid for Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris. (Express)

•Rangers fans have welcomed Glasgow-born George Taylor, managing director of Morgan Stanley, purchasing 3.2 per cent shares in the club. (Daily Record)

•Partick Thistle have launched an appeal against Stuart Brannigan’s red card in the mid-week clash with Celtic. (Sun)

•Manchester City’s David Silva will be out with injury for three weeks, ruling him out of Sunday’s Manchester derby. (Express)

•Alex Bruce says he is ready for the battle with father and boss Steve Bruce to save his career at Hull. (Express)