Rumour Mill: Rangers face battle for £5m-rated star| Karamoko Dembele picks England | Sven-Goran Eriksson wants Scotland job

Thursday’s Scottish football news and gossip.

Hearts defender John Souttar. Picture: SNS

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Eriksson wants to manage Scotland

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Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson wants to become the next manager of Scotland. The 71-year-old has applied for the vacant post following the sacking of Alex McLeish and is hoping to make it on to the shortlist alongside a few Scottish candidates such as Steve Clarke and Jack Ross. (Daily Record)

Hearts defender John Souttar. Picture: SNS

McInnes interested in Scotland job

Derek McInnes has admitted he’d be interested in managing Scotland. The Aberdeen boss is said to be one of the candidates as the SFA look to finalise their shortlist before appointing the successor to Alex McLeish. McInnes insists it would be a “privilege’ to coach the national team. (Scottish Sun)

Surprise contender for Celtic job

SC Paderborn 07 manager Steffan Baumgart has emerged as a surprise contender for the manager’s job at Celtic after bookmaker odds fell dramatically. Sky Bet were forced to slash their odds on Baumgart becoming the next manager at Parkhead to 18/1, placing him within the top ten candidates for the role. (The Scotsman)

McNeill family call for enjoyment

Billy McNeill’s family have urged the Celtic support to honour the club’s former skipper and manager in the way he would have wanted – with “noise, passion and enjoyment”. The club have outlined their plans to celebrate the life of the first British man to lift the European Cup. (The Scotsman)

Dembele makes international choice

Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembele has dealt Scotland a significant blow in their hopes of convincing the youngster to play for the national team. The 16-year-old has pledged his allegiance to the England under-16s squad for next season. (Daily Record)

Dempster still has Lennon picture

Hibernian chief executive Leeann Dempster has admitted that she still has a picture of Neil Lennon in her office, despite the former manager leaving the club in controversial circumstances. “There has been a lot written about the relationship between Neil and I, particularly towards the end of his time at Hibernian. I know a lot of it is incorrect,” she said. (The Scotsman)

Hearts seek to complete contracts

Hearts manager Craig Levein is pressing to finalise contracts for striker Steven Naismith and midfielder Peter Haring this week. The Edinburgh club are negotiating the finer details of a pre-contract agreement to sign Naismith from Norwich City, and are also close to extending Haring’s current deal. (Evening News)

Rangers face competition

Rangers face stiff competition from Derby County to land Hearts defender John Souttar. The Scotland international, valued at around £5 million, recently signed a new deal in Gorgie but is expected to court offers this summer after another strong showing in what is otherwise a disappointing season for the Tynecastle club. (Scottish Sun)