Rumour Mill: Rangers | Celtic | Lennon

Celtic manager Ronny Deila oversees training at Lennoxtown. Picture: SNS
Celtic manager Ronny Deila oversees training at Lennoxtown. Picture: SNS
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GRAHAM Wallace tells Rangers players not to panic over financial troubles; Ronny Deila blasted for fitness insult by Neil Lennon; Old Firm manager seek to renew rivalry, plus all of today’s top Scottish football news and gossip

Graham Wallace tells players: your future is safe

Graham Wallace, the Rangers chief executive, has held a behind-closed-doors meeting with senior players to assure them their futures were secure. Wallace told players that the £3 million raised by a share issue had stabilised the club. One player told the Sunday Mail: “Wallace spoke to us on Friday and tried to assure us that the situation was under control. He spoke well and clearly, and told us not to worry about any speculation.

“A lot of us don’t really know what is happening off the field. We just try to concentrate on winning games. He insisted the financial situation is under control.” (Sunday Mail)

Ronny Deila unfit jibe insulting - Neil Lennon

Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon has spoken out against his successor at Parkhead, Ronny Deila, over a claim by he latter that the squad was “out of shape”. Deila has significantly altered the players’ dietary habits, and has banned fizzy drinks from the menu at Celtic Park. Lennon, however, believed the remarks from Deila were disrespectful to him, saying: “I didn’t monitor what players were eating in the canteen. You have a set diet and the food at Celtic was top class. See if I see a player happy and full of running, I let him carry on.”

He added: “Psychologically, the player is happy so if he wants to have a Coca-Cola, let him have one. Some players carry weight because it suits them. It gives them a little bit more power.” (Sunday Mail)

Old Firm managers seek to renew rivalry in League Cup

Rangers manager Ally McCoist and Celtic counterpart Ronny Deila have said they would relish the chance to face each other in an Old Firm tie. Though a division separates the two sides, they are on course to meet in the Scottish League Cup if they progress past their third-round ties this week. Deila said: “THese are big games and everybody looks forward to them so it would be fantastic if we could have an Old Firm match again.”

Rangers boss McCoist agreed, saying: “I’d take an Old Firm final if I was offered it. But we’re not in a position to say we’d like Celtic or any other team. Celtic are still the best team in the country by some considerable way.” (Sunday Express)

Ronny Deila wants Rangers, Hearts and Hibs back

Ronny Deila wants rivals Rangers, Hearts and Hibernian to return to the Scottish Premiership as quickly as possible - so that they can strengthen Scotland’s top flight, and his own side too. The Celtic boss wants Celtic to compete at the highest level in Europe, but believes this is only possible with the strongest teams in the top division. He said: “It’s very important to have the highest level in the league and we have good teams as well, maybe not the biggest names but good teams - better than those in the Championship. But we want, of course, big teams in the top division - although they have to be good enough.” (The Sun on Sunday)

Stephen McManus has no plans to retire

Stephen McManus wishes to make it known that reports of the death of his playing career have been greatly exaggerated.

The former Celtic defender said that a recent stint on television as a guest pundit, however, had put this into doubt in the minds of others.

McManus said: “I did Sportscene the other night and Jonathan Sutherland asked me if I was going to fling my hat in for the Queen of the South job… I nearly fell off my chair.

“First and foremost, you want to play for as long as you can. I just turned 32 and the good thing with not being blessed with pace during your career is that you aren’t going to lose it quickly.” (Scotland on Sunday)

Paul Hartley in line for Fulham post

Dundee manager Paul Hartley has been added to the shortlist of candidates for the vacant Fulham job. The 37-year-old is in line for the post after Felix Magath was sacked, and is being given serious consideration after taking Alloa to two consecutive promotions and guiding Dundee to the Scottish Premiership. Cardiff City were also in the running to talk to Hartley, but the former Celtic and Hearts midfielder has committed his future to Dundee. Malky Mackay, sacked from Cardiff City amid allegations of sending sexist and homophobic texts, is also being considered as a replacement for Magath. (Mail on Sunday)


Andrew Smith: Celtic must break Hearts for League Cup success