Rumour Mill: Hearts in talks with Robbie Neilson | Rangers Sports Direct deal | Bobby Petta linked with Junior side

Former Celtic player Bobby Petta. Picture: Jane Barlow
Former Celtic player Bobby Petta. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Hearts are looking to sign up Robbie Neilson on an extended deal, Rangers looking to cut Sports Direct ties and Derek McInnes urges Aberdeen players on in title challenge.

Hearts in talks with Robbie Neilson

Hearts are looking to get their manager tied down on a long-term deal. Picture: SNS

Hearts are looking to get their manager tied down on a long-term deal. Picture: SNS

Ann Budge wants to sign head coach Robbie Neilson up to a long term deal following his work in leading Hearts’ revival.

Hearts won the Championship last year, beating off challenges from Rangers and Hibs, and are up at the top end of the Premiership this season. (Sun)

Rangers to end Sports Direct deal

Rangers chairman Dave King has vowed to end the club’s retail deal with Sports Direct following a serious of legal decisions going in favour of the Ibrox club. Rangers have repaid a £5m loan to Mike Ashley’s firm and say they will challenge the remaining side arrangements with the sportswear firm in court. (Various)

Paul Hartley is looking to bolster his squad. Picture: SNS

Paul Hartley is looking to bolster his squad. Picture: SNS

Derek McInnes urges Aberdeen players to rise to challenge

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has urged his players to confound expectations and continue their title challenge. The Dons take on St Johnstone in Perth this weekend following their 2 - 1 victory over Celtic. A win would see Aberdeen go joint top with Celtic on points. (Express)

Petta set for Junior football deal?

Former Celtic winger Bobby Petta could be set to return to Scottish football with Central First Division side Rossvale Juniors.

The club are desperate to add some experience to their team and are eyeing a couple of players who would bring “extra supporters through the gates”.

They refused to confirm or deny whether one of those players would be the 41-year-old Petta. (The Herald)

Feyenoord glad to see the back of Kazim-Richards - Konterman

Former Rangers defender Bert Konterman says Feyenoord will be glad to see the back of Colin Kazim-Richards due his habit of getting involved in conflict on and off the pitch. (Express)

Deila claims Celtic support

Fresh from their midweek defeat at Pittodrie, Celtic manager Ronny Deila claims that he’s still trusted by the club’s senior management figures Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond to lead the Hoops to the title.

In a press conference earlier this week, Deila said: “I have talked with Peter since Wednesday night. I also speak with Dermot often. He is an intelligent man as well, he knows what business is about and how football works. We have conversations to understand what page we are on – how I am thinking, how he is thinking. That has been good between us all the time.” The Scotsman

- Chris Sutton says the Celtic board have made a mistake by not sacking Ronny Deila and blames owner Dermot Desmond and chief exec Peter Lawwell for the club’s predicament. Sutton says Deila should have been dismissed following Celtic’s exit from the Europa League

Europe driving Rangers - Miller

Kenny Miller says the prospect of a Europea League spot is driving Rangers Scottish Cup campaign this season. The Ibrox side take on Kilmarnock tomorrow as they look to secure their place in the last eight. (Evening Times)

Spain-based Eoin Jess snubs Barca to watch Aberdeen beat Celtic

During Valencia’s 7-0 loss to the Catalan greats with manager Gary Neville, the Aberdeen legend was spotted watching the game on his laptop.

Aberdeen’s victory makes it the first time the Dons have beaten Celtic twice at home in a league season for more than 25 years. The Scotsman

Partick stop United’s Lawless bid

Dundee United failed to ensure the early release of Steven Lawless, it has been revealed, while Chris Erskine may switch to the Glasgow side.

Erskine signed a pre-contract deal to see him become a Jag yet again earlier this month, while Lawless is still in talks with his club.

But United still intend to pursue Lawless in the hope of bringing him to Dundee in time for the summer. Dundee Evening Telegraph

Paul Hartley aims for Inverness Caley’s James Vincent and Danny Williams

The Dark Blues have confirmed rumours that they’re eager to sign Caley’s midfielder Vincent and winger Williams, after Hartley was impressed by their in-form performances this season.

The manager said that a formal approach to the Highland club would be made in a pre-contract signing attempt. Daily Record

READ MORE: Six players most likely to win Sunday’s Edinburgh derby

Police investigate Celtic IRA online messages

A group of football fans are being investigated by police after they suggested that members of the Irish Republican Army be enlisted to “sort” the Celtic team.

The hate messages were posted on the Huddleboard Celtic forum under the title “Time for the IRA to step in”.

A police spokesperson said: “These individuals will be tracked down and an investigation is already under way to trace whoever is responsible.” Glasgow Evening Times

IN BRIEF: Former Don and current Motherwell manager Mark McGhee seems similarities between Aberdeen and Leicester City in their underdog title challenges - and believes both will succeed. Daily Mail