The Rumour Mill: Tuesday’s football news and gossip

Rino Gattuso left AC Milan at the end of the season. Picture: AP
Rino Gattuso left AC Milan at the end of the season. Picture: AP
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In today’s Rumour Mill: Gattuso talks up Rangers return as Green consortium comes under scrutiny; Cha Du-Ri could be headed for Celtic exit; Rod Petrie speaks out for SPL integrity; plus the rest of the day’s football news and gossip.

Rangers takeover

• Former Rangers star Rino Gattuso has revealed that he has spoken to members of Charles Green’s consortium about a return to Ibrox - if the club’s transfer embargo is lifted this week. The Italian wants to finish his career at Rangers after ending his 13-year spell at AC Milan. However, a source close to Green said: “I think Gattuso is trying to put himself in the shop window, rather than us getting in contact with him.” (Record)

• Yesterday Green paid tribute to the passion of the Rangers fans and also reiterated the reason he is withholding the names of those other investors in his consortium. “Quite rightly, supporters and the media have raised the issue of the identity of those involved in the consortium,” he said. “The fundamental reason I cannot do this at this time is that some investors would like to wait until a CVA [Company Voluntary Arrangement] proposal is advanced or agreed before going public. That is their choice.” (Various)

• But SFA chief executive Stewart Regan is set to demand full disclosure of the people involved in Green’s consortium. (Record)

• Former Newcastle owner Freddy Shepherd is giving “serious consideration” to joining Green’s group, after his name was linked to the plans. The 70-year-old said: “We’ve been approached about joining his consortium and are considering it. He has obviously approached other people - we are not that daft - but he has spoken to us and we are thinking it over.” (Record)

• One of Green’s backers, former Sheffield United owner Mike McDonald, has said the consortium have serious capital and would be ready to hand manager Ally McCoist a multi-million pound summer war-chest if the club’s transfer embargo is lifted. (Express)

• Former Rangers bidder Bill Ng has congratulated Green and has offered to help him establish the club in the far east. The Singapore businessman said: “Our support for this great Scottish instution will continue and we hope to fly the Scottish flag one day in the Far East and especially within our very own S.League community.” (Express)

• Midfielder Maurice Edu is focused on reclaiming the SPL title next season despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the club. The USA international said: “We want to come back next year, really push on and compete and win our title back. It would be good if we can kick on now. We have finished the season strongly and we’ve had some good results.” (Scotsman)

• Edu’s team-mate Carlos Bocanegra, who signed a three-year deal when he arrived last summer, also aims to stay at Ibrox. He tweeted yesterday: “Hope this situation gets sorted just as quickly as everyone else does. Enjoy being a part of this club and city.”

• Kyle Hutton, who spent the season on loan to Partick Thistle and Dunfermline, is keen to return to Rangers and fight for a starting place. (Various)

Cha leads Celtic exodus

Cha Du-Ri is set to lead a summer exodus from Celtic which could see up to fourteen players leave. It is understood that the South Korean right-back will not have his deal renewed. Other players who could be heading for the exit door include Glenn Loovens, Daniel Majstorovic, Paddy McCourt, Dominic Cervi, Daryl Murphy, Morten Rasmussen, Josh Thompson, Niall McGinn, Richie Towell and Efrain Juarez. Mark Wilson and Pawel Brozek are definitely moving on. (Sun)

• Meanwhile, manager Neil Lennon has lost out to Hamburg in his attempt to sign Lech Poznan striker Artiom Rudnev. (Sun)

SPL integrity should outweigh finance - Petrie

Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie has given a strong hint he would vote against a ‘newco’ Rangers entering the Scottish Premier League. He told BBC Radio Scotland: “That’s fundamental to us at our club, to make sure the integrity of the game is not called into question and that the sporting integrity of the competition we take part in is maintained at the highest standards. It’s not a question of any sum of money in return for that integrity – integrity is beyond purchase.”

Scottish Cup Final countdown

• Hibs manager Pat Fenlon last night revealed he has already settled on his Scottish Cup final line-up. He said: “We know the team. The bench is probably where we’ve got one or two decisions. There’s a lot of players and there’s only five substitutes’ places, so it’s going to be a difficult decision for me. But you don’t pick it on sentiment, you pick it on what you think is the best group of substitutes that can change the game for you or can cover you in certain areas of the pitch.” (Scotsman)

• Hearts will continue to monitor the fitness of striker Craig Beattie as he struggles with a hamstring injury in the build-up to the match. However, defender Andy Webster, who has been nursing a minor groin complaint, is not a worry for the final. (Scotsman)

• Celtic captain Scott Brown will be cheering on the “other team in green and white” on Saturday, when Hearts and Hibernian come to Glasgow to contest the Scottish Cup final. “I’ll be at the game,” he confirmed. “I’ve got a ticket and I’m going to go along. I’ll be in the Hibs end cheering the team on: Come on the Hibees! I’ve got loads of pals who are Hibs fans from back home.They’re all looking forward to going through to Glasgow in their supporters buses and making a good day of it. If they do win then it’ll be back to Edinburgh for the open-top bus.” (Scotsman)

• According to former striker Darren Jackson, who played for both capital clubs and now as an agent has players in both camps, it is Hibernian who have more to lose, and are therefore more likely to feel the pressure. “With Hibs, I think it will be the greatest day of a Hibs fan’s life and of a player’s life if they win it – but it could be the worst day of their life if they lose it,” Jackson said yesterday. “I don’t see that with Hearts, because they’ve been there.” (Scotsman)

• The importance of the supporters at Saturday’s Scottish Cup final cannot be overstated, according to Paul Hartley. “I remember turning round the corner at Hampden and seeing 25,000 Hearts fans,” he said. “We knew we couldn’t get beat that day. To be fair, we really performed as well.” (Scotsman)

Scotland may bid for Euro 2020

Scotland and Wales are considering a dramatic late bid to host Euro 2020, possibly involving the Republic of Ireland as well. Uefa’s deadline for formal expressions of interest is midnight tonight and so far only Turkey have come forward to confirm they are bidding. (Scotsman)

McLeish sacked by Villa

Alex McLeish has been sacked by Aston Villa, with the club’s owner Randy Lerner criticising the performance levels and results during the manager’s reign. Lerner said: “We need to be clear and candid with ourselves and with supporters about what we have lacked in recent years; compelling play and results that instil a sense of confidence that Villa is on the right track have been plainly absent.” (Various)

• Norwich boss Paul Lambert and his Wigan counterpart Roberto Martinez are top of the shortlist to replace McLeish. (Various)


• Aberdeen are mulling over a move for St Mirren striker Nigel Hasselbaink. Dons boss Craig Brown could make a move for the out-of-contract Dutchman, and is also set to hold talks with Inverness winger Johnny Hayes this week. (Express)

• Queen of the South boss Allan Johnston has appointed his manager at Hearts 20 years ago, Sandy Clark, as his assistant. (Record)

• Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill has told Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon he can leave the club. Gordon has attracted interest from Celtic but his £35,000-a-week wages could put them off. (Mail)

• Rotherham have failed with a bid for Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings, who is out of contract but wants to remain at Fir Park. (Express)

• Partick Thistle defender Paul Paton has agreed a new one-year deal with the club. (Record)

• Meanwhile, Partick have completed the signing of Hugh Murray from St Mirren. (Herald)

• Raith Rovers striker John Baird looks set to move on in the summer, after announcing that he is set to leave the Kirkcaldy club on Twitter.

• St Mirren midfielder Steven Thomson has signed for non-league side Dover Athletic. (Express)

• Defender David Proctor has been released by Inverness after eight years at the club. (Express)