Scottish football gossip: Rangers linked with West Brom youngster ahead of January transfer window; Hibs keen to bring Stevie Mallan back to Scotland and Brendan Rodgers says Dembele could leave but Celtic don’t need to sell
Rangers eye loan swoop for West Brom youngster
Rangers are reportedly interested in a loan deal for West Brom youngster Tyler Roberts, with a view to signing him permanently in the summer.
The Wales U21 striker has been on loan at Walsall but is expected to return to his parent club, paving the way for the Gers to make their move. (The Sun)
Hibs set to rekindle Mallan interest
Hibs have again been linked with a move for Barnsley midfielder Stevie Mallan. The Easter Road side were big admirers of the youngster when he was at St Mirren but the Tykes signed him for £250,000 in the summer.
However, Mallan is reportedly fed up with a lack of first team action, having mostly played for the U23 side, and only made his senior debut yesterday in a 0-0 draw with Preston.
And Hibs could rekindle their interest as they look to bolster their squad in January. (The Sun)
Rodgers: Celtic don’t need to sell Dembele
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has admitted that Brighton target Moussa Dembele could leave Celtic if the price is right - but stressed the club does not need to sell the French hitman.
Rodgers said: “We don’t want to lose any players. However, if a player can earn five times as much as what he’s on now, then it is very, very difficult to stop him, especially if you get a fee for a player.
“But there is a lot for that to happen, a lot that needs to be right. We don’t need to sell anyone. That’s the idea.” (The Scotsman)
Brendan Rodgers is hopeful that winger Jonny Hayes only suffered brusing to his shin bone rather than a break after the wideman was forced off during yesterday’s 2-0 win over Dundee.
Rodgers said: “I feared the worst at the time, when I heard the noise I was looking directly at his leg to see what state it was in. There was a noise but I think it must have just been a clash of their shinpads.
“He is away for an x-ray and that will tell us where he’s at. We are hoping it’s just bruising of his shin bone. Both boys came off so I hope Josh Meekings is okay as well, they are two tough players.” (The Scotsman)
Reynolds fed up at lack of action
Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds admits he’s frustrated by a lack of first-team action but concedes he can only get his head down and work hard.
The veteran centre half said: “I am used to playing a lot of games so it is disappointing to drop out and be watching from the side. I just have to work hard and be ready.
“I felt I played well against Celtic. All I can do is work hard and give the manager a decision to make. He decides who plays. It is not something that I have been aggrieved about – you just have to accept it.” (Press & Journal)
Wigan step up Walker chase
Wigan could make their move for Hearts midfielder Jamie Walker within the next week, according to reports.
The Latics have been linked with a £300,000 bid for the player, whose contract is up in the summer, despite interest from Rangers.
And with Craig Levein resigned to losing the 24-year-old, Wigan could look to hold talks with Walker in a bid to get a deal over the line quickly once the window opens. (The Sun)
Forrest ‘is best player’ says Sutton
Chris Sutton has hailed James Forrest as the best player in the country after a man-of-the-match performance against Dundee.
BT Sport pundit Sutton said: “He’s not been everybody’s cup of tea at Celti, but he has scored goals and turned up in the big games including the Betfred Cup Final.
“He played superbly against Bayern Munich. When Patrick Roberts arrived, I thought this could be the end of James Forrest. But he’s knuckled down and become Celtic’s best player.” (Various)
United grill youngster over video
Dundee United youngster Jamie Robson has been grilled by Tannadice chiefs over a video showing him drinking an unidentified green liquid while at the wheel of a car.
United bosses quizzed the 20-year-old over the clip which has been viewed more than 200,000 times, but it is understood the club reminded him of his “responsibilities as a pro” but will take no action after he assured them the drink was not alcoholic. (The Sun)
McGinn will feed off derby noise
John McGinn has been “blown away” by the magnitude of the Edinburgh derby since playing in it for the first time almost two years ago.
The midfielder has been taken aback by the level of intensity and atmosphere surrounding the fixture, and is relishing his latest taste of it at Tynecastle this evening.
He said: “It’s bigger than I thought it was. The atmosphere has been electric and that’s what you thrive on as a player. The wall of noise you hear when you walk out the tunnel – it blows you away.” (Evening News)
Levein aiming to end Hibs derby run
Antagonised by Hibs’ eight-match unbeaten run in Edinburgh derbies, Hearts manager Craig Levein today admitted he wants to be the man to end the dominance.
Levein stressed that the desire to stop Hibs is “massive” as he seeks to prolong his own club’s recent good form.
He added: “It annoys me that we lose in these derby matches. I want to be the guy who stops that. That’s the intention tonight. The players already know what’s required.” (Evening News)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Southampton are keeping tabs on Dundee defender and rumoured Celtic target Jack Hendry
• Motherwell striker Ryan Bowman expects a hostile welcome from Rangers fans when the two sides meet for the first time since the Betfred Cup semi-final. Gers defender Fabio Cardoso sustained a broken nose in a challnge with Bowman
• John McGinn insists he’s remaining focused despite transfer talk linking him with a move away from Hibs