Rumour Mill: Lewis Macleod | Anthony Stokes

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BLACKBURN Rovers want Lewis Macleod, Cardiff City are interested in Anthony Stokes, and Hearts are looking to bring in a Scottish Premiership striker on a short-term loan deal.

Blackburn are interested in Lewis Macleod

Anthony Stokes is wanted by Cardiff. Picture: Jane Barlow

Anthony Stokes is wanted by Cardiff. Picture: Jane Barlow

Blackburn Rovers are lining up a £1.5 million bid for Rangers star Lewis Macleod. Rovers boss Gary Bowyer is an admirer of the 20-year old and is ready to make a January swoop having been given additional funds to strengthen Rovers promotional push. (The Sun)

• Ally McCoist wants his team to finish 2014 off with a flourish as they look to keep pace with Hearts at the top of the Scottish Championship table. The Tynecastle side finish the year with two games against part-time opponents in Cowdenbeath and Alloa and a visit from bottom club Livingston, while Rangers face difficult away trips to the two sides directly below them in the standings, Queen of the South and Hibs. McCoist wants his players, at the very least, to remain nine points behind going into the new year. (The Sun)

Cardiff ready with £1.5 million Stokes bid

Anthony Stokes is reportedly wanted by Cardiff City as they look to return to the English Premier League at the first time of asking. Celtic are apparently seeking £1.5 million for the 26-year old. (Daily Mail)

• Dundee United insist they’ve not been contracted by either Celtic or Sporting Lisbon regarding the transfer of midfielder Stuart Armstrong. (The Courier)

• Stokes has praised Efe Ambrose for his seamless return to the heart of the Celtic defence. Despite losing Jason Denayer to a foot injury the Scottish champions have not missed a beat on the domestic front, keeping clean sheets in each of their last three matches. (The Scotsman)

• Celtic winger Jo Inge Berget looks likely to return to Cardiff in January after failing to make an impact at Parkhead. (The Scotsman)

• First team coach John Kennedy reckons manager Ronny Deila has now found his feet at Celtic Park after initially being thrown off by the magnitude of the job. (The Scotsman)

• Deila will field a deliberately weakened team when Celtic face Dinamo Zagreb in the dead rubber match in the Europa League. The Hoops boss has lamented the fixture pile-up in recent weeks and with a place in the knock-out stages of the European competition already assured, he will take the chance to rest a few of his first-team regulars. (The Scotsman)

Hearts seek new striker to replace Sow

Hearts director of football Craig Levein has admitted the club are actively looking to bolster their attacking options with striker Osman Sow facing at least another five weeks on the sidelines. It is understood the Championship league leaders are looking into the possibility of bringing in a striker on loan from a top flight club. (The Scotsman)

• Former Hearts favourite Eamonn Bannon believes his old team have what it takes to win the Scottish Championship, though he doesn’t expect them to remain unbeaten for the duration. (The Sun)

• Owner Ann Budge has been the latest Scottish football authority figure to back the campaign to end the drinking ban at Scottish football grounds. (Daily Mail)

Hibs chase Stranraer pair

Stranraer have revealed that representatives from Hibs have watched their last 10 matches and believe the Easter Road club are interested in signing goalkeeper David Mitchell and defender Jackson Longridge, though there has been no confirmation from Hibs at this time. (The Scotsman)

• Meanwhile, Hibs boss Alan Stubbs wants a response from his players after the dismal 1-0 defeat to Falkirk on Saturday. (The Sun)#

Inverness trio wanted by English clubs

Inverness striker Billy Mckay is once again subject of interest from English League One side Peterborough. The Posh were rebuffed in their efforts to sign both Mckay and defender Josh Meekings in a £150,000 move last year. Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday are monitoring Mckay’s teammates Marley Watkins and Graeme Shinnie, both of whom are out of contract in the summer. (Daily Express)

• Prospect Ryan Christie believes he’s in the perfect situation to help him develop as a player. The 19-year old, who scored the winner against Dundee at the weekend, hailed the style of football taught by manager John Hughes. (Press and Journal)

Livingston in financial trouble again

Former Livingston chief executive Ged Nixon is bidding to have the club’s money frozen over a £311,000 debt. Nixon was one of the men who helped bring the Lions out of administration in 2009, but a falling out with majority shareholder Neil Rankine saw him leave the club’s board, before demanding to have money owed to him paid back by the cash strapped outfit. (The Scotsman)

Cut-price sponsors deal for League Cup

The sponsorship deal for the remainder of this season’s League Cup is reportedly being sold at a meagre £50,000 despite including a historic clash between the Old Firm at the semi-final stage, which also ensures that one of the Glasgow giants, who both have supporters across the world, will be featuring in the televised final. (Daily Record)

News in brief

• Former Hearts midfielder Bruno Aguiar has warned Sporting Lisbon youngster Ryan Gauld that he must work incredibly hard if he’s going to make something of himself in Portuguese football. (The Scotsman)

• Morton manager Jim Duffy has stated even a date with Kylie Minogue wouldn’t make up for his side’s defeat to Spartans in the Scottish Cup. (The Scotsman)

• Derek McInnes wants to see more goals from attacker Niall McGinn after the Northern Irishman ended his goal drought with a superb lob against Hamilton on Saturday. (Press and Journal)

• Richard Brittain has called on his Ross County teammates to develop a ruthless streak as they battle against relegation from the top flight. (Press and Journal)

• Ian Baraclough has emerged as a surprise contender for the vacant managerial position at Motherwell. The 44-year old is looking for a new role after being sacked by Sligo Rovers in the summer. (Daily Mail)

• Scotland ladies left-back Hayley Lauder has become the first ever Scottish female footballer to earn a professional contract at a Scottish club after the 24-year old signed for Glasgow City. (The Herald)